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Shashi Tharoor in support of privatization of Thiruvananthapuram airport

Congress MP from the capital city Thiruvananthapuram has come forward to support the privatization of Thiruvananthapuram  International Airport.

Shashi Tharoor feels that the airport urgently needs expansion and a commercially-motivated private operator is what the state may need to improve flight connectivity and facilities at the airport.

Tharoor argues that KSIDC which lost the bid, has no previous airport operation experience and that it is more likely that a private operator, whose commercial interests are more aligned with those of its users, will be far better motivated to maximize the potential of the airport than a public sector entity with no discernible strategy or sense of priority for one city over another.

For many people, the privatisation move is welcome because it is clear that the Trivandrum airport urgently needs expansion and a capable operator that will forcefully market it with airlines in order to increase flight connectivity. In this regard, a commercially-motivated private operator could prove more aligned with the interests of passengers and the business community in Trivandrum in terms of improving flight connectivity and facilities at the airport, Tharoor said.

Adani Enterprises, the flagship entity of the Adani group, had bagged five of the six airports offered by AAI to potential developers under a 50-year lease contract by placing aggressive bids. While Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mangalore are the other airports that went to its kitty, the Kerala government (through KSIDC) was the second-highest bidder for the Thiruvananthapuram airport as it offered a per-passenger fee of Rs 135 against Adani’s winning bid of Rs 168.


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