These operations are currently under control of Airports Authority of India. Somasundaram also said that the five airports selected to be developed under "no-frills airports" category would be operational in the next two years."That model (under PPP) is mainly developed for the metro cities.

The remaining airports are not in metro area. These are in medium cities. For these airports we may need a revised model because we will not have the kind of volume which Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore have. So we are working on that," Somasundaram said. "May be within a month we will come out (with the guidelines). It is in advanced stage. We need to change the guidelines for PPP model. Within a month we expect these (guidelines) to be finalised. Then they will call for RFQ," he told during his recent visit to cyclone-hit Visakhapatnam.

Earlier, the Congress-led UPA government had in September  last year decided to allow private parties to pick up 100 per cent equity stake in operation and management of the six airports - Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Lucknow - through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

The move was vehemently opposed by the airports' unions, alleging that it would reduce the already shrinking revenue of the AAI due to the privatisation of country's two busiest airports - Mumbai and Delhi. A parliamentary panel had last year also opposed privatisation of government airports in the country. However, the present government has reportedly decided to keep airports at Chennai and Kolkata out of the PPP model as of now.

Somasundaram said the present PPP model, developed during 2005 and 2008, is suitable for airports in metro cities. India has about 130 airports of which 30 are not operational while 56 are with AAI, he said. Of the remaining, some are with various state governments and defence establishments. According to him, 86 per cent of the traffic is contributed by 6 airports in metro cities and 12 airports in other major cities. "Five airports have been identified by the ministry to be developed as no-frills airports. AAI has also awarded contracts for those five airports. They will become operational in two years," Somasundaram explained.

The airports, which have been shortlisted from 50 cities and towns in remote areas and various unconnected regions across the country, would come up at Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh), Kishangarh (Rajasthan), Jharsuguda (Odisha), Hubli and Belgaum (Karnataka), Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had said earlier.


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