Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Civil Aviation meets to discuss Airport Authority of India CALL FOR MODERNIZATION AND RESTRUCTURING OF MUMBAI DELHI AIRPORT WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY

for Ministry of Civil Aviation | Date - 06-01-2006

The meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Civil Aviation was held here today. It was chaired by Shri Praful Patel, Minister for Civil Aviation. The meeting today discussed “Airports Authority of India”.

Most of the Members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Civil Aviation, cutting across party lines, today called for modernization and restructuring of Mumbai and Delhi Airport without any further delay. They pointed out that the process was given go-ahead by the Parliament of India and should thus be given utmost priority. Besides both the airports were in a very bad shape and needed urgent attention. The Members also raised issues relating to safety and security in the air including using of Instrumental Landing Systems (ILS) for landing aircrafts in foggy situation. Satisfactory clarifications were given to the Members by the Chairman and the officials present in the meeting.

The Members discussed the issues of shortage of trained personnel specifically ATC personnel, slow pace of infrastructure development including that the other metro and non-metro airports, adequate manpower utilization etc.

In a presentation made to the Members of the Committee the Airport Authority of India ( AAI) said that its thrust areas are focused on user friendly airports and terminals, passengers comforts, behavioral changes, pleasant and clean ambience, enhancement of air space and capacity, introduction of safety management system as per ICAO standards, upgradation of technology from ground bays CNS-ATM to satellite bays CNS-ATM system, enhancement of non-traffic revenue, taking up of ground handling service, taking up international consultancy. They have also pointed out to the Members that their main constraints are civil and military coordination including land matters at civil enclaves and other airports; meteorological services, encroachment of airport land; environmental clearances, environmental protection, multiple agencies at airports – coordination, city side control – coordination with local authorities, access to airports, coordination with central/state government agencies.

In a presentation made to the Members of the Committee the Authority has pointed out that the Civil Aviation Sector in our country is witnessing a boom in terms of traffic growth. In contrast to 2003-04, 2004-05 witnessed a 11.9 percent growth in aircraft movements, 21.5 percent growth in passengers and 19.8 percent growth in cargo. As per traffic forecasts, these trends are likely to continue over the years to come. The next two years should see a 9.0 percent growth in international aircraft movements, and 10 percent growth in domestic aircraft movements; 10 percent growth in international passengers and 15 percent growth in domestic passengers; 12 percent growth in international cargo and 15 percent growth in domestic cargo.

The AAI has taken up the task of infrastructure development of airports to meet the unprecedented surge in demand – meeting the requirements of the unprecedented growth in air traffic as well as higher expectations of customers. While the evaluation of technical bids for Mumbai and Delhi airports is in process, the AAI has drawn action plan to meet the urgent needs at these airports. Recently six additional bays have been added to the Delhi Airport and work is on for 19 bays to be completed by October 2006. Eight bays have been added to the Mumbai Airport and work is on for 18 more bays to be completed by June 2006.

Improved Air Traffic Control (ATC) procedures have been initiated for simultaneous use of both the runways at Mumbai and Delhi Airports. At Mumbai Airport Cross-Runway – Operation has been implemented from Jan 2006. At Delhi Airport it will be from March 2006. A ban has been imposed on general aviation aircraft during the peak period(Delhi 9-11 a.m ) Mumbai (8-10 a.m. and 5.30 -7.30 p.m.) from 15th December 2005. The ATC’s automation system has been upgraded. The CAT ILS III-A at the Delhi Airport has been upgraded to CAT IIIB facilitating landing of aircraft when the visibility is below 200 mts but above 50 mts.

The AAI have also initiated up gradation work at Chennai and Kolkata Airports. Amongst other works being taken up at Chennai Airport, additional checking counters are being provided in both domestic and international departure terminals and construction of a new international arrival terminal and its integration with the new international departure terminal is in progress. In Kolkata a new international departure terminal is proposed to be constructed at a tentative cost of Rs.215 crores besides other developmental works. A total number of 143 additional bays are planned or being constructed at 45 Airports.

In order to encourage the airline operators to use Airports other than six busy airports i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad the night parking charges between 2200 hrs to 0600 hrs have been reduced to 50 percent of the existing parking charges for all airline operators at AAI Airports from 1st January 2006.

The AAI has identified 35 non-metro airports to be development in phased manner. Consultants have been appointed to advise AAI both on the development of these airports as well as on management of traffic on the city side. It is estimated that an expenditure of Rs. 5500 crores is to be incurred for the development of Terminal Buildings and Air Side Works at these Airports. A Credit Rating Agency, a Financial Advisor- cum-Lead Arranger and Arrangers for raising the required funds for funding the projects relating to the airports have been appointed. M/s. CRISIL appointed for establishment of Credit Rating of AAI has accorded “AAA” rating with stable outlook. M/s. AK Capital Services Limited have been appointed as Financial Advisor-cum-Lead Arranger to advise AAI on possible Debt Funding options, timing on reaching the market and structure of the instruments, etc. A Task Force has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Member Planning Commission for finalization of the financial model and the report is expected by Jan, 2006.

The Members who attended the meeting were S/Shri Santosh Gangwar, Tapir Galo, Ratilal K. Verma, Ashok Argal, Ramswaroop Koli, Tarit Baran Topdar, A.Krishnaswamy, Umakant Yadav, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Dr.(Prof.) Prasanna Kuamar Patasani, Santosh Bagrodia, Vayalar Ravi, K.B. Krishna Murthy, Dr. M.S. Gill, Janardan Dwivedi, Dinesh Trivedi, Sanjay Raut, Dr. Vijay Mallya, Rajeev Shukla and Bashistha Narain Singh.

(Release ID :14800)

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