High on Plans: Top projects in airports

Top projects in airports

India Infrastructure Research tracked 24 projects in the Indian airport sector, involving combined investments of over Rs 474 billion. Three projects (worth Rs 17.31 billion) have been completed, four (Rs 47.48 billion) are under construction and 17 (Rs 558.2 billion) are to be taken up in the future.

Completed projects

All three completed projects were finished in 2015, and together added a capacity of around 2 million passengers per annum (mppa). Of these, the Durgapur International Airport Project was undertaken on a fully private basis, the Nagpur maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis and the Chandigarh Airport Modernisation Project Phase 1 by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Durgapur airport, developed by Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Limited, was constructed at a cost of Rs 6 billion, and commenced commercial operations in May 2015. The Nagpur MRO facility is a joint venture between Boeing and Air India, and the construction of the greenfield project was completed in January 2015. Air India has invited expression of interest bids to operate and manage the project.

Under-construction projects

The four top airport projects currently under construction will together add a capacity of over 15 mppa. Of these projects, the highest share of investment is lined up for the Kannur International Airport project.

The Kannur greenfield airport is being developed on a PPP basis by a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL) at a cost of around Rs 19 billion. Phase I of the project, which is scheduled to commence commercial operations in May 2016, will have a capacity of 4 mppa. According to the proposed master plan, the total capacity is estimated at 20.39 mppa by 2045.

Another key project is the new terminal building at the Cochin International Airport, which is expected to be completed by May 2016. It will add a capacity of 10 mppa and is being developed on a PPP basis (Rs 10.5 billion).

The Pakyong greenfield airport is being developed by AAI. Although not major in terms of planned investment (Rs 6 billion) or capacity (100 peak hour passengers), this is crucial in terms of connectivity to the north-eastern region. While construction on the project began in October 2009, completion has been severely delayed due to a gamut of issues including site accessibility, prolonged monsoon season, frequent bandhs by Gorkha activists, opposition by local inhabitants, etc. It was earlier scheduled to be operationalised by December 2016 but is now expected to commence commercial operations by end-2017.

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Projects announced

Around 17 projects worth around Rs 410 billion are at various stages of planning. Of these, six are brownfield projects (Rs 192.3 billion) while 11 are greenfield (about Rs 366 billlion). Together these projects are expected to add around 180 mppa of capacity. Eight of the greenfield projects (Rs 186.4 billion) are at a nascent stage of planning, and are not expected to see on-ground work before 2020.

The biggest project announced in the airport sector is Bengaluru airport’s Phase II expansion project followed by Navi Mumbai airport.

Bengaluru airport’s Phase II expansion will see capacity augmentation by 35 mppa and is scheduled to be completed by 2021 at an expected investment of Rs 148.7 billion. The project will include developement of a new terminal (Terminal 2), for which the design contract was awarded to US-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in January 2016.

Navi Mumbai airport is planned to be constructed on a PPP basis to provide an alternative to the congested Mumbai airport. The project will be developed through an SPV, with City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Limited, AAI, financial institutions, banks, non-banking finance companies and private entrepreneurs as equity holders.

As of February 2016, three shortlisted bidders – GMR Airports, Mumbai International Airport Limited and a consortium of MIA Infrastructure and Tata Realty – are eligible to participate in the request for proposal (RfP) stage. The RfP document for the project is likely to be issued to qualified bidders by March 2016, and the project is expected to be commissioned by December 2019.

Another big project is the Rs 30 billion Mopa airport project. The project work involves the development of a terminal along with air-side and land-side infrastructure. It will be developed in four phases. Phase I is expected to be completed by 2019 and will create a capacity of 4.4 mppa. Project implementation was delayed due to political opposition. The project also faced major opposition from the Mopa Airport-Affected Farmers Committee. As of January 2016, the Goa government has issued the RfP document to the qualified bidders with the last date of subsmission being April 16, 2016.