Hardeep Singh Puri
Hardeep Singh Puri
Hardeep Singh Puri/ Twitter

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal for leasing out airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram through public-private partnership (PPP).

Adani Enterprises had won the rights to run six airports - Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati - through the PPP model after a competitive bidding process in February 2019.

In July 2019, the Union Cabinet had approved the proposal for leasing out the other three airports - Ahmedabad, Mangaluru and Lucknow - to Adani Enterprises.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Cabinet has approved the proposal for leasing out Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram airports through the PPP model.

Currently, the aforementioned six airports are owned and managed by the government-run Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Eight months after the Cabinet approval, Adani Enterprises signed the concessionaire agreement with the AAI on February 14 this year for operation, management and development of airports at Ahmedabad, Mangaluru and Lucknow.

In June this year, the AAI gave three more months to the Ahmedabad-based company to take over the management of these three airports due to the COVID-19 situation. This means the deadline for take over has been pushed from August 12 to November 12.

In a tweet, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, "In a momentous decision under the visionary leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi Ji, the Union Cabinet has given its stamp of approval for leasing of 3 more airports at Jaipur, Guwahati & Thiruvananthapuram on PPP basis."

"PPP at these airports will not only help in delivery of efficient and quality services to the air passengers but will also help @AAI_Official in enhancing its revenues & focusing on developing more airports at Tier-II & Tier III places," he added.

Puri had on Tuesday said that the Ministry of Civil Aviation would place a proposal for "further" privatisation of airports before the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.

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Free Press Journal