An Indian Administrative Service officer of the Gujarat cadre, Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra currently serves as chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI), a position he has held since July 2016. In his current role, Dr Mohapatra is responsible for ensuring the construction and operation of high quality airports.
Dr Mohapatra has served the government in various capacities. Prior to joining AAI, he worked as joint secretary in the De-
partment of Commerce at the centre and has been managing director of several public sector units, contributing considerably to their growth.
On his most memorable assignment, Dr Mohapatra says “While I enjoyed the challenging assignments in Gujarat, where I worked for 28 years, I particularly enjoyed my job as the municipal commissioner of Surat and Ahmedabad.” In these cities, Dr Mohapatra was instrumental in developing iconic projects such as the Sabarmati riverfront project, and the Kankaria lakefront and heritage promotion projects, thereby giving an unprecedented boost to aviation and tourism.
Dr Mohapatra has an optimistic view of the civil aviation sector in the country, and believes that “India is poised to be the third largest aviation market by 2025.” Though he feels that the major challenge before AAI is to match the pace of Indian airspace infrastructure development with the high growth rate in the aviation sector.
Dr Mohapatra says, “I work very sincerely with a desire to improve and constantly push myself to achieve better results. I also like to cut down on systemic delays and focus on finding solutions within the parameters of the law.” He has strong leadership skills and typically does not feel stressed in crisis situations.
Dr Mohapatra’s educational qualifications are many. Besides a graduate degree in History from BJB College, Bhubaneswar, and a master’s in political science from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, he has an M.Phil. in Diplomacy from the School of International Studies at JNU and has subsequently completed a master’s in business administration from the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. An additional feather in his cap is a Ph.D. from MS University, Vadodara.
Dr Mohapatra devotes his spare time to reading, particularly fiction. He is also a movie buff and likes watching movies in different languages. A family man, he says his ideal holiday would be going to a quiet hill station or a beach destination with his wife.