The Adani Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Limited, the Adani Group subsidiary, is likely to take over the Thiruvananthapuram airport on October 18 this year, indicates a reply given by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to an RTI query.
Although the concessionaire was expected to take over the airport by July 18, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had forced a postponement.
“'(The) expected date of handing over of Thiruvananthapuram Airport is October 18, 2021, to the selected concessionaire. Thiruvananthapuram Airport was expected to be handed over to the selected concessionaire on or before July 18, 2021. However, the date of handing over of the airport has been extended up to October 18, 2021, at the request of the concessionaire due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 second wave,”’ says the reply given by Anil Vikram, general manager (SIU)/CPIU, AAI, to an RTI query placed by Kochi-based RTI activist K. Govindan Nampoothiry.
To the question whether the private firm would retain the existing employees, both permanent and on contract, at the airport after the takeover, the AAI replied that the details regarding employment of all AAI employees will be as per the terms and conditions of concession agreement signed by between the AAI and the concessionaire.
Mr. Nampoothiry had also sought a copy of the concession agreement, but the AAI pointed out that it will be in the public domain after the airport is transferred, a process ‘which is in progress and the process is not yet completed.’
The Adani group had won the bid to manage and operate the airport for 50 years amid stiff opposition from the State government and the airport employees. The State government had vehemently opposed the privatisation bid, and urged the Centre to retain the airport in the public sector.
The AAI and the Adani Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Limited has signed the take-over agreement on January 19 this year for the ‘operations, management and development’ of the facility for 50 years.