The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has asked Adani Group to take over and start running the Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports by November 12, 2020. The process of handing over remaining airports to the Adani Group — Guwahati, Jaipur and Trivandrum — is on with the letter of award being issued to it.
In July, the Adani Group had cited the force majeure arising from Covid 19 pandemic to inform the Airports Authority of India (AAI) that it may have to delay taking over the three (Lucknow, Manglore, and Ahmedabad) of the six airports it had won in February 2019. The group has not taken over the remaining three airports at Jaipur, Trivandrum, and Guwahati since they were stuck in litigation.
“Out of the six airports for which bids were invited in the first round, (the) Concessionaire Agreement has already been signed in February 2020 for three – Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru. Due to covid-19, M/s Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) has cited force majeure and filed for extension in March, 2020 and sought time till 15th February, 2021. AAI has given time till 12 November 2020,” the Union Ministry Of Civil Aviation said.
“The other three – Guwahati, Jaipur and Trivandrum have also been approved for leasing out on PPP and the Letter of Award issued to M/s Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL),” it added.
“The winning bidder of Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports (Adani Group) has to take over the airports by November 12 and then the other three will be handed over. We expect upfront payment of Rs 1,000 crore followed by another Rs 1,300 crore from them for the six airports,” AAI chairman Arvind Singh said.
The Adani Group group had bagged the 50 year concession for operating all the 6 currently AAI operated airports – Lucknow, Jaipur, Guwhati, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, and Mangalore – which were put up for auction. They quoted the highest per-passenger fee for all the five airports to bag the contracts in a very competitive race.
The AAI board has now recommended to running six more airports PPP way — Varanasi, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Raipur, Indore and Trichy — for which the process is currently underway “We expect an investment of Rs 13,000 crore in these 12 airports from private players,” Singh said.
“Modalities for this proposal are being worked out. It is expected that additional investment of around Rs.13,000 Crore will be made by private players in the 12 airports,” AAI added.