Home' Asian Aviation : AAV_March_2013 Contents 26 AsianAviation | MARCH 2013
As India s ministry of civil aviation gets set
to announce a regional aviation policy to
encourage airlines to fly to regional and
remote places, plans are being simultaneously
drawn up to encourage the opening of low
cost, no-frills airports in less populated cities
as part of the government s efforts to improve
During the past decade, the compounded
annual growth rate of passenger traffic in
India has remained approximately 15%.
Domestic traffic in the next 10 years in India
is expected to touch about 180 million
passengers per annum and international
traffic is likely to exceed 80 million, from
the current 60 million and 40 million
respectively. The significant growth in India
in passenger traffic requires augmentation
of airport infrastructure, aviation minister
Ajit Singh said recently. He announced the
government has approved 15 new airports,
the majority of which are greenfield airports.
A report outlining a plan for small airports
based on the public private partnership
(PPP) model has been submitted to the
government for clearance. "These airports
will be simple facilities, not architectural
marvels. They can either be developed
as new airports or will be built alongside
existing airports," S Machendranathan,
additional secretary and financial advisor to
the Ministry of Civil Aviation, said recently.
"The low cost airports can be developed in
small towns like Puducherry or Salem [South
India]. We are yet to finalise a model but
are considering different options. The aim
is to promote regional airlines using small
aircraft," he added.
Six cities identified for developing new
greenfield airports in the south Indian state
of Andhra Pradesh include Nizamabad,
Nellore, Kurnool, Ramagundam,
Tadepalligudem, and Kothagudem. Others
like Karnataka have already released plans
in their aviation policy, while states like
Gujarat and Maharashtra are in the process
of finalising their aviation policy which will
review the number of small airports required.
With land acquisition the main roadblock in
every construction project in India, the state
government will be responsible for acquiring
the land for the proposed airport, transfer it to
a nodal agency or set up a special purpose
vehicle under the PPP model on a right to use
or lease basis.
As traffic to remote destinations will not
give developers high yields or even let
them break even, the policy proposes fiscal
incentives to airport developers for around
five years from the date of commissioning.
Incentives could include exemption from
reduction on tax on aviation turbine fuel,
exemption of property tax and reduction in
Value Added Tax.
Past experience of the private sector
building airports in smaller cities has
shown profits are a long way in coming as
infrastructure projects have long gestation
periods. For example, Reliance Infrastructure
operates regional airports at five destinations
in the western state of Maharashtra - Nanded,
Yavatmal, Baramati, Latur and Osmanabad,
having won lease rights to develop these
airports for 95 years. It has since invested in
infrastructure and human resources and incurs
half a million US dollars a month at each of
these airports. Nanded is the only airport
where scheduled commercial flights operate.
The airports are believed to be for sale, but
no buyers have been forthcoming.
Aproving an infrastructure project like an
airport requires numerous clearances from
various departments requiring long drawn
bureaucratic procedures. For hassle-free
clearances of airport development, it has
been proposed to have a single window
clearance through a nodal agency for
all state government approvals. The state
government could also act as a facilitator.
Meanwhile, a new terminal was recently
opened at Chennai by the Airports Authority
of India (AAI). "We are in talks with a
few foreign airports for possible tie-ups
to manage and operate Chennai s new
terminals and to train our staff abroad. Over
the years, operation of terminals has become
technology-intensive. Training will equip
AAI staff to manage the terminals efficiently
because we are planning to boost passenger
capacity and make Chennai a major hub
like Mumbai and Delhi," said AAI chairman
V P Agrawal. AAI is also considering a new
cargo terminal on a build-operate-transfer
(BoT) model. -- Neelam Mathews
Since 2007, Brisbane Airport has spent A$4.2
billion on major infrastructure development. "BAC is
continuing to plan for the future to meet the demands
of expected passenger growth and this year the
focus is on phase one works for the new runway, the
launch of the next airport master plan, a significant
redevelopment within the international terminal, as
well as over 50 civil, building and strategic planning
projects across the airport," says Brisbane Airport
Corporation chief executive officer and managing
director Julieanne Alroe.
Across the other side of the country in Perth,
the new A$750 million domestic terminal, formerly
dubbed Terminal WA, was due to open in March.
The new terminal, Terminal 2, will be home to
Alliance Airlines, Skywest and Tiger Airways. The
new terminal is designed to take a large chunk
of the booming fly-in fly-out operations from the
original domestic terminal which is struggling with
the traffic growth.
Work is also under way on a A$750 million
redevelopment programme, involving construction
of a new domestic pier and international departures
expansion, with completion scheduled in July
2014. Perth handled over 3.3 million international
passengers in 2011. The long-term vision for the
airport is to have all services operating from one
location by 2020.
Across the Tasman, New Zealand's Auckland
Airport is working on its new master plan which
will include plans for a new terminal facility, with
constraints at the existing domestic terminal being
the biggest problem.
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Reliance Infrastructure operates regional airports at five destinations in the western state of Maharashtra, including Latur.
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