Govt moves amendments to Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act 2008
The government on Wednesday moved amendments to the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act 2008, which would help in the privatisation of smaller airports and boost air traffic growth in the country.
Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri introduced the amendment bill in the Lok Sabha which intends to “amend the definition of a ‘major airport’ so as to extend its scope to determine the tariff for a group of airports also”.
The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India has been determining the tariffs of aeronautical charges at major airports in the country.
Under the present Act, a “major airport” has been defined to mean any airport which has, or is designated to have, annual passengers in excess of 35 lakh. However, it does not provide for determination of tariff for a group of airports.
According to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the airports, where currently the traffic potential is low and loss making are not expected to attract reasonable competitive bids.
Developing a greater number of airports through public-private partnership mode would expand air connectivity to relatively remote and far-flung areas.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) owns 137 airports in the country out of which AAI has formed joint venture in seven airports.
Recently, AAI awarded six airports namely Ahmedabad, Jaipur in Rajasthan, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore for operations, management and development under a public private partnership (PPP) model for a period of 50 years.