labels: tata group, aviation
Tatas, Singapore's Changi team up to bid for Chennai, Kolkata airport projectsnews
Our Corporate Bureau
21 February 2007

Mumbai: The Tata group has teamed up with Changi Airports International of Singapore to jointly bid for modernisation works of airports at Chennai and Kolkata. They would also jointly bid for similar projects in non-metro airports in the country.

"We are partnering with the Tatas to get the contracts for modernisation work in Kolkata and Chennai airports", reports quoted Changi's vice president (India) Ng Tim Peng as saying.

While the Tatas would hold a controlling 51 per cent stake in the joint venture company, Changi would own the rest, he said, adding that "we are open to other partners with the right skills and expertise joining us in this venture"

Privatisation programme for both the airports would be formally announced some time later this year. While the West Bengal government wants the Kolkata airport to be developed by the Airports Authority of India, the Tamil Nadu government favours the public-private partnership route for Chennai airport modernisation.

This is the second time the Tata group is entering the aviation sector in the recent past. Earlier, the group had tied up with Singapore Airline to bid for flag carrier Air-India when it was proposed to be privatised, but the process failed to take off.

Changi Airports International, a state-owned airport developer, said in a statement that the scope of the joint venture would also extend to investments in other airports, including regional airports as well as airports, which have already been privatised.

About 6.77 million passengers used Chennai airport last year, making it the country's third-busiest airport, while Kolkata served 4.4 million passengers, ranking it fifth, Changi said in a statement.

Changi Airports, which is part of Singapore's civil aviation authority, also has investments in South and Central America, China and Abu Dhabi. It is due to take over the management of a new terminal at Moscow's airport in April.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 'Inter Airport India' exhibition, AAI chief K Ramalingam said major Indian airports in future would have "intelligent terminals" fitted with sensors to operate various facilities - from lighting and air-conditioning to an IT-enabled building management system.

High-tech equipment would be deployed for the security and air traffic control (ATC) systems covering a wide range of activities - from access control to perimeter security.

"We are awaiting a report from the Tamil Nadu government regarding land acquisition. We are likely to get the report in the next two to three weeks.

"As soon as we get the report, we will move the union cabinet on modernisation of Kolkata and Chennai airports", civil aviation secretary Ashok Chawla said after inaugurating the exhibition.

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Tatas, Singapore's Changi team up to bid for Chennai, Kolkata airport projects