Airport Infrastructure
The new government at the Centre is all set to eliminate the policy of barring the building of a new airport in radius of 150 km of the existing one and the move will open up new business opportunities for aviation infrastructure builder. Not allowing airports to run within the stipulated time is certainly an erroneous policy which needs to be reviewed, said a senior civil aviation ministry official, adding that the ministry is making presentation in this connection to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The scrapping of this restraining clause in the airport policy, which says that if the government were to allow construction of a green field airport within the radius of 150 km then either the consent of the existing airport operator is must, or it be given the right of first refusal.

There has been an old proposal by the UP government to build an international airport in Greater Noida, which could not take off because of the restraining clause but the government would be free to go ahead and build the airport without either seeking the consent of GMR or giving it the right to build the airport. However, the new norms would not impact the Mumbai International airport, which has been built and operated by GVK, because a second airport is already being built in the city at Navi Mumbai — the existing one has limitations in terms of expansion. In fact, GVK would have the RoFR for it, which means that if its bid for constructing the airport is 10% lower than the highest bidder, it would be given the right to match the highest bid and be awarded the contract for constructing it. It may be recalled that the company has repeatedly said in recent times that it will bid aggressively for the Navi Mumbai airport project. The existing airport in Mumbai handles around 33 million passengers annually, which can go up to around 50 million.