The bid schedule for six airports (Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram), released on Saturday, affirms that O&M (Operation and Management) tenders will be wrapped up by February 28, 2019.
Without losing time, the Kerala government has, on Tuesday, formed a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to run the airport, with a 26% share of the state government. The newly-formed TIAL (Thiruvananthapuram International Airport) is in the PPP ( public private participation) model of the companies running Cochin and Kannur International airports. Under AAI, Thiruvananthapuram airport makes an annual profit of Rs 150 crore.
“Kerala government had sought Centre for an FRR ( First Right of Refusal), a contractual right that allows the state the privilege to enter a business transaction,” M Vijayakumar, chairman, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, told FE. “We have also proposed that Centre could partner in the SPV for the airport, as in CIAL and KIAL,” said Vijaya Kumar, who also heads the action council on the airport.
One option is that the AAI could hand over the aerodrome management to the state government for a fixed amount. The second one is that if the airport is put out for auction, TIAL will submit its bid and counts on getting an FRR prerogative.
In 2003, the then Union civil aviation secretary had given an assurance to Kerala that the state government would be made a part of the SPV formed, if the airport is privatised and that it would be allowed stake in proportion to the value of the land that the state had acquired for the airport. It is this much earlier proposal that triggered the idea of forming the SPV initiative.
“As a state that developed two greenfield international airports successfully, its aviation experience needs to be counted,” said Kerala chief minister Pinaryai Vijayan, in a letter to Centre.
AAI had released the RFP (Request for Proposal) documents on Saturday. It was the newly released bid schedule, alerting that the pre-bid meet will be on January 17, that send Kerala scrambling to form the PPP company.