• Airports Authority of India again rejects Changi Airport plan for Jaipur, Ahmedabad airports

    For the second time, state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) has rejected Singapore’s Changi Airport proposal to operate and maintain Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports after finding the latest plan “unfeasible”.

    Now, AAI would move ahead with steps to start the international bidding process for choosing the entities to operate and maintain the two domestic aerodromes.

    The proposal to rope in Singapore’s Changi airport for the projects was floated during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the island nation last November.

    The revised plan from Changi Airport, owned by the Singapore government, also sought a “higher” quantum of revenue in managing Jaipur and Ahmedabad aerodromes. This is “unfeasible” and not commercially viable for AAI, a source close to the development said.

    Hence, the latest proposal has been rejected after discussions with the Civil Aviation Ministry, the source said.

    Earlier also, Changi Airport’s proposal was rejected on the same grounds.

    “It has now been decided to re-open the global bids route for the two airports and (if interested) Changi Airport can also participate in it,” the source said.

    According to him, AAI is in the process of appointing a consultant for preparing the bid documents,”AAI expects to come out with the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Jaipur and Ahmedabad and airports by August,” he added.

    A senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said there is no “political pressure” to conclude a deal with Changi Airport and decisions are taken on the basis of merits.

    With regard to Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports, AAI had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) during Modi’s visit to the island nation.

    In January, the Union Cabinet had also given its ex-post facto approval to the MoU.

    Under the MoU, both parties were to cooperate in planning and development of Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports besides other aspects including traffic and commercial development, service quality and operations and management.

    Significantly, passenger traffic at Ahmedabad grew 28.3 per cent to 64,80,111 passengers in the last fiscal compared to 50,50,433 passengers in FY15.

    Jaipur Airport during this period logged a healthy 31.4 per cent growth in number of passengers to 28,87,195 passengers from 21,97,996 fliers in fiscal 2014-15. Irving Fryar Jersey

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