The Adani Group on Monday began its “Observation Period” at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) airport in Guwahati as part of its mandate to develop and modernise northeast India’s main airport, officials said.
An Airport Authority of India (AAI) official said that a nine-member team of the Adani Airport Holding Ltd (AAHL) led by Chief Airport Officer Utpal Baruah, an aviation industry expert who also hails from Assam, on Monday formally started its “Observation Period” and is likely to take over charge in October.
An AAI official on condition of anonymity said that as per the agreement with the Centre, existing AAI personnel would support the company for a period of three years.
Land near the airport had also been given to the AAHL on lease basis for a period of 50 years in a bid to develop aviation-related business and related services.
In 2018, the Central government leased out six AAI airports — Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram, and Mangaluru — for operation, management and development under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
“The Centre took the decision to enhance the revenue of the AAI and augment the economic development in these areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure,” the AAI official said.
The Adani group had emerged as the successful bidder for all the six airports.
Meanwhile, Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu called on Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia in New Delhi and discussed various issues pertaining to the state’s airports.
An official of the Chief Minister’s Office on Monday said that Khandu requested Scindia to consider development of Advance Landing Grounds in the state’s airports.
“Besides pleading for conducting a feasibility inspection of ALG Tuting and Mechuka for fixed wing operation, the CM reiterated for starting of fixed wing flight operation at Pasighat and Tezu airports on priority basis,” the official said.
The CMO official said that accompanied by Lok Sabha member Tapir Gao, state’s Civil Aviation Minister Nakap Naloh, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and Commissioner Prashant Lokhande, he briefed Scindia about the progress of Holongi Airport. The Chief Minister said that work on the airport, near Itanagar, is on war footing and it will be made operational by the next year.
The AAI has undertaken a Rs 650 crore project to develop the airport to boost air connectivity in the mountainous areas.
Currently there are 15 airports in the northeast region — Guwahati, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur, Lilalabari and Rupsi (Assam), Tezu and Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Agartala (Tripura), Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya), Dimapur (Nagaland), Lengpui (Mizoram), and Pakyong (Sikkim).