GVK, Air Deccan, IDFC, Rahejas join hands to jointly develop low-cost airports

Low-cost airline Air Deccan, airport operator GVK Airports, public sector financial institution Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) and real estate major the Raheja group have formed a consortium to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the low-cost airport business. The combine will look at developing low-cost airports in small cities.

The move comes after the Karnataka government opened three airports for bids - Bijapur, Shimoga and Gulbarga. Other possibilities are Nellore and Kadappa in Andhra Pradesh, and Solapur in Maharashtra.

The concept, said Air Deccan managing director Capt G R Gopinath, came from a suggestion he had made in the past to the Travel Agents Association that state governments could develop airports on their own, with private participation.

Since such airports will not be able to generate enough revenue from operations, they can incorporate real-estate ventures that draw value from their proximity to the airport.

Capt Gopinath was in Hyderabad to speak to the students of Indian School of Business (ISB), on how he built the country''s first private helicopter services company and the country''s first low-cost airline.