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Praful Patel, aviation chiefs may talk reforms today

Praful Patel, aviation chiefs may talk reforms today
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First Published: Sun, May 31 2009. 10 31 PM IST

 Action plan: Minister for civil aviation Praful Patel. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Action plan: Minister for civil aviation Praful Patel. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Updated: Sun, May 31 2009. 10 31 PM IST
Mumbai / New Delhi: Civil aviation minister Praful Patel is likely to meet airline and airport chiefs on Monday to discuss issues including a new ground handling policy and airport modernization.
Action plan: Minister for civil aviation Praful Patel. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Also on the agenda will be speeding up the integration of Air India with the erstwhile Indian Airlines under the National Aviation Co. of India Ltd, or Nacil. Arvind Jadhav, an Indian Administrative Service officer, was recently appointed as Nacil’s chairman and managing director to pilot the merger.
The ground handling policy becomes effective on 1 July. The policy mandates that airlines outsource ground handling at the airports to private operators selected for the job.
Its implementation has already been delayed.
Under the new policy, only Air India, the airport operator and a third private operator will be allowed to provide ground handling services from July.
A person close to the development who did not want to be named, said the tenders for modernizing Udaipur and Amritsar airports would be floated as early as July as a part of the ambitious programme of modernizing 35 non-metro airports.
In April 2008, the ministry of civil aviation short-listed companies, including Larsen and Toubro Ltd, Tata group and GMR Infrastructure Ltd to develop the vast land banks at these airports.
The bidders’ list was scrapped because of protests by airport employees who were against giving the additional mandate of developing terminal building to private parties.
Another executive with a private company that was short-listed in the first selection, said it had been told that tenders are likely to be floated around July. The executive didn’t want to be named.
An Airports Authority of India, or AAI, board member, who requested anonymity, said the tenders will be floated “in a month” but the operator will retain management of terminal buildings.
Several employees of the Delhi and Mumbai airport have been moved to these smaller airports after the two were privatized in 2006 and chose not to work under the new private management.
pr.sanjai@livemint.com
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First Published: Sun, May 31 2009. 10 31 PM IST