AAI to privatise terminal management at Jaipur, Ahmedabad; issues tender

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NEW DELHI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has issued tenders for handing over the management of terminals at Jaipur and Ahmedabad to private players. The authority will remove its personnel from these terminals and hand over the airport to the chosen bidder so they can start with a “clean slate,” AAI chief Guruprasad Mohapatra said Monday.

“There are not too many AAI employees at these two airports as many jobs have been outsourced. Our staffers will be shifted to other airports,” Mohapatra said, while adding that AAI will continue to run air traffic control.

The bidder will be chosen on twin basis of offering lowest cost for managing the terminal and offering highest revenue to the AAI by maximising the commercial potential of the terminals through areas like food and beverage and retail sales. “Inside the terminal, they will be responsible for everything. Outside the terminal, except for car parking, everything else will remain with us,” the AAI chief said. The selection process is expected to be over in a couple of months.
Meanwhile, AAI is stepping up its efforts for a better passenger experience at its other airports too. The new terminals at Vadodara and Vijaywada will see maximum automation for passengers through things like e-boarding cards.
“Ten airports – Kolkata, Chennai, Lucknow, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Pune, Goa, Guwahati, Coimbatore and Trivandrum – have been selected for a project called ‘delivering improvements in service and hospitality at airports’ or DISHA. Under this we will take steps like reassigning check-in counters to airlines depending on their scale of operations. Historically some airlines have a large number of counters but not those many flights now while other carriers with more flights have fewer counters. This had led to increased check-in time,” Mohapatra said.
The changes have started taking effect at these terminals and at some places the average check-in time of 40 minutes is now down to 25 minutes. The focus under DISHA is on: improving queueing times, airport facilities, ensuring clean toilets, design better airport design for seamless passenger flow and offering “best in class and affordable” retail and food and beverage outlets.
“In all we have identified 400 initiatives under DISHA. A start has been made at 10 airports and we will do the same at all our airports,” said Mohapatra. AAI is trying to improve passenger feedback collection system and then acting on that.