• FDI Alone Won’t Help – Major Restructuring Needed For AAI Take-Off

    The latest foreign direct investment (FDI) reforms in the civil aviation sector should ideally bring the focus back on airport infrastructure in many brownfield ventures which have failed to improve, thanks to the triad of slothful Airports Authority of India (AAI), labour unions and opposition-ruled states blocking such moves.

    The true test of the benefits of raising FDI in brownfield airports to 100 percent without prior approval (earlier, FDI beyond 74 percent was subject to approval) may actually come when Chennai airport’s ceiling doesn’t crumble every other day.

    India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world and boasts of some world-class airports in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai on the one hand, and hundreds of ghost airports with not a single flight on the other.

    Now that back-to-back reforms for airlines have been unleashed, by diluting the 5/20 restriction for overseas flights and removing caps on foreign investment, it is time the country got its airport infrastructure up and running too. If the airport infrastructure fails to keep pace, the liberalisation in airline ownership and operational conditions would be rather meaningless. Drew Bledsoe Womens Jersey

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