Bhubaneswar: With the Civil Aviation Ministry pushing for in-principle approval of the Union Cabinet for privatisation of six airports, including Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, the process is likely to start here soon.
“The privatisation will be done in the larger interest of the airport and the passengers. The private party will look after the operations, management and development of the airport,” Biju Patnaik International Airport director Suresh Chandra Hota told the media here.
According to sources, the air traffic control (ATC) unit and the cargo hub of the airport, however, will remain under the purview of the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Besides, land of the airport will not be handed over to the private party, though it will be allowed to take up construction works inside the airport premises for the infrastructure development.
This apart, the private party, under no circumstances, can revise the proposed aeronautical fee. In case it wants a revision of the fee structure, it has to take the prior permission from the Ministry. However, it will be allowed to determine the non-aeronautical fee.
As far as the security of the airport is concerned, it will remain in the hands of the AAI.
While the 70-80 per cent of the airport staff will be retained, senior officials will be transferred. The tenure of the contract for the privatisation of the airport will be 50 years.
Notably, the airports in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kochi are already privatised.
As the AAI has already approved the plan for privatisation of airports in Varanasi, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Trichy, Indore and Raipur, the Civil Aviation Ministry has sought approval from the Union Cabinet. Once the proposal is approved, the Ministry will start the bidding process, which will be completed tentatively by the end of this financial year, the sources added.