ADANI … Adani Group finally signs pact with AAI for takeover of TVM, Jaipur, Guwahati airports for 50-year-long lease


NEWS AIRPORT

TVM: The biggest airport operator in the country, the Adani group, is taking over the operations of the busy international airport here soon, after braving several odds including resistance from leftist trade unions and even the LDF government in the state.

The Airports Authority of India made the announcement in a follow up to the group winning the auction against other bids including one from the state government. Adani would run the airport in PPP mode. The group will be taking over the operations of the Jaipur and Guwahati airports too. The concessional agreement was signed by the group with the AAI on January 19. This involves a lease for a 50-year-period.

The Adani group, which started with the development of India’s first private port, the Pipavav in Gujarat, is also acquiring a 74 per cent stake in Mumbai International Airport. The group has offered to take over the Mangalore, Lucknow and Ahmedabad airports.

Notably, the modernized Indira Gandhi international airport in New Delhi is India’s largest airport, a credit it wrested from Mumbai airport in 2015 in matching with the growth of Delhi as an international aviation hub. The Delhi airport is the sixth busiest in Asia. The Delhi airport was set up in 1962. A consortium led by the GMR Group is running the airport with the AAI having a 26 per cent stake. Indian airports carried on in old-age style for many decades under inefficient bureaucrats and money-spinning political leadership – a scenario that started changing with the involvement of private enterprise since the turn of the century. In the UPA period, some Union civil aviation ministers allegedly indulged in huge loot, resulting in a major downturn for the aviation sector in the country.

Delhi’s first airport was the Safdarjung Airport started in 1930.

TVM AIRPORT: Started in 1932, the TVM airport became an international aviation centre in 1991. It conceded ground to the Cochin International Airport (CIAL), set up in early 1990s under (india’s first) PPP mode during the term of K Karunakaran as Congress chief minister. Today, the TVM airport is the second busiest in Kerala and the 14th busiest in India. The TVM airport is spread over an area of 700 acres as against the 5000 plus acres of the Delhi airport.

The airport came into being during the reign of Sree Chithira Tirunal. Initially, it was part of the Royal Flying Club initiated by Colonel Goda Varma Raja, trained pilot and consort of Rani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi, the Rani of Travancore and Attingal Kingdom. The king’s sister was Goda Varma Raja’s wife. A Tata Airlines flight was the first aircraft to land in TVM airport in 1935. Three years later, the Travancore Royal family acquired a Dakota aircraft for its private use. Commercial operations at the airport started after Independence. International flights started from the airport started in the 1970s, mainly to the Gulf and Arabian nations. In 2018, the central government proposed privatization of several airports including the TVM hub.

The Adani group is already in Kerala, building the Vizhinjam port near capital TVM. It has invested heavily in solar projects in Gujarat and elsewhere in India, too.

ADANI GROUP: ‘GROWTH WITH GOODNESS’

Adani Group is a diversified organisation in India with combined revenue of $13 Bn comprising 6 publicly traded companies. It has created a world class transport and utility infrastructure portfolio that has a pan-India presence. Adani Group is headquartered in Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat, India. Over the years, Adani Group has positioned itself to be the market leader in its transport logistics and energy utility portfolio businesses focusing on large scale infrastructure development in India with O & M practices benchmarked to global standards. With four IG rated businesses, it is the only Infrastructure Investment Grade issuer in India.

Adani owes its success and leadership position to its core philosophy of ‘Nation Building’ driven by ‘Growth with Goodness’ – a guiding principle for sustainable growth. Adani is committed to increase its ESG footprint by realigning its businesses with emphasis on climate protection and increasing community outreach through its CSR programme, the company web site states. IHN-NN

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