Nagpur airport ownership doubt continues

NAGPUR Airport in India is still in its ownership deadlock, which puts its future status of a cargo hub in jeopardy.

The airport has been under administration of the Airport Authority of India (AAI), which holds 49 per cent of the stock and is overdue for being transferred to dual-ownership with the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), which owns 51 per cent, by over a year.

The two signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2006 to develop the airport according to a government-approved masterplan, which would include building a new terminal and parallel runway to allow MADC to fly in Boeing 777s. The current runway is too short to land the 777. However, over a year later and the AAI has so far only been making temporary renovations to the terminal.

S.R. Raghavendra Rao, regional executive director, western region, AAI, said, “We do not want to penalise the passenger hence we are expanding the passenger terminal. Nagpur Airport is with us. We will hand over the airport to MADC only after we are told to do so.”

This is indeed what the regional government and MADC officials have already told representatives of the AAI but the AAI still proves reluctant to hand over the airport to MADC.

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