Real estate developerAnsal API Ltd is joining the fray of developers bidding for airport management and modernization projects and is in talks with a US-based airport operator to jointly bid for projects in India.
“It will be more or less a 50:50 joint venture. Though we want to take a majority stake, but let’s see,” Ansal API director Pranav Ansal said while declining to name the potential partner.
While Ansal would manage the real estate, the airport operator would bring in its expertise in airport design and development. “We are working out a structure. It will be a marriage of that sort,” Ansal said.
Leading real estate developers such as DLF Ltd and Unitech Ltd have already said that they plan to bid for airport modenization projects. While DLF has tied up with Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, owner and manager of the Frankfurt Airport, to bid for projects, Unitech is in talks with Aéroports de Paris, the French airport operator which manages most of the important airports in France.
Like other major real estate players, Ansal is also eyeing the proposed Greater Noida International airport project near Delhi in Uttar Pradesh.
“We are definitely going to look at the Greater Noida airport,” Ansal said.
The Greater Noida airport project has been revived recently after Mayawati came to power in Uttar Pradesh. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs3,500 crore. While the bid winner will have to raise 64% of the funds, the balance will be shared by Uttar Pradesh government and other government agencies.
The GMR Group-led consortium, which has the mandate for the Delhi International Airport, will have the first right of refusal for the Greater Noida project, because Noida is a Delhi suburb (Fraport is a partner in Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the company set up for the development of the Capital’s airport).
This means that if the difference between the highest bid and DIAL’s bid is 10%, DIAL will be allowed to match the offer. In case DIAL does not match the offer, the project will be given to the highest bidder.
Apart from the Greater Noida project, Ansal will also look at other airport modernization and upgradation projects. “We don’t know what the government has to offer,” Ansal said. “It’s not like you take a land and develop it. So, we don’t know which projects we will be bidding for.”
The other big projects that are likley to be opened up for bidding are the Navi Mumbai airport project and Chennai’s second airport project.
The government is in the process of modernizing and redeveloping 35 airports to ease the traffic congestion in the existing airports.
Over 40% of the passenger traffic in India is concentrated in the two main airports of Delhi and Mumbai, according to data from Airports Authority of India.