In a sit-down interview, AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra talks about airport development plans, its financial plans as well as the use of state-of-the-art technology to upgrade air traffic management. Excerpts:
How does AAI plan to embark on airport development in the coming years?
We have appointed a consultancy firm to prepare a national strategy for airport development, which will submit its report to the Ministry of Civil Aviation within 18 months. It will prepare a plan to cater to growth in traffic demand in the next 30 years.
Almost every State capital will get a second airport at some point in time as per its traffic growth. Tamil Nadu will suggest sites, Dholera in Gujarat is being considered as a second airport for Ahmedabad. Similarly, we are pursuing with the State governments for a second airport for Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata. The criterion is to have a second airport within 30-40 kilometres of the existing airport.
How much does AAI need for capital expenditure?
We need ₹20,000 crore in the next five years. Sixty per cent of this amount will be borrowed. We have already approved ₹1,500 crore from a consortium of banks led by SBI as a term loan for a period of 15 years. Our board has also drawn up a borrowing plan for the next three years but we need to decide whether we will invest in masala bonds, dollar-denominated bonds or rupee bonds.
15/07/18 Jagriti Chandra/The Hindu