The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the leasing out of six airports -- Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru -- for operation, management and development under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The cabinet provided "in-principle" approval for leasing out the airports under the PPP model, said an official statement.
Currently, the airports being managed under the PPP model include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin.
"While these PPP experiments have helped create world class airports, it has also helped AAI (Airports Authority of India) in enhancing its revenues and focusing on developing airports and air navigation infrastructure in the rest of the country," it said.
As per the Civil Aviation Ministry statement, PPP in infrastructure projects brings efficiency in service delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector.
The decision to lease the airports under the PPP model is expected to enhance the revenue to AAI and increase the economic development in the concerned areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure, as per the statement.
Earlier this year, the government had said there is no proposal, at present, with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to develop and modernise any aerodrome under public private partnership.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the AAI airports have the capacity to handle 15.5 crore passengers per year in aggregate.
"In financial year 2017-18, the AAI airports handled 13.6 crore passengers and the passenger traffic is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.5 per cent for the last three years," he said.
The PPP experiment with airports is rather nascent. The government had awarded the contracts for renovating Delhi and Mumbai airports, and is considering private investment in 25 other city airports.
(With inputs from IANS)