December 2015 \ Interviews \ Interview:Chairman, AAI
We plan to make the stakeholders potential partners in our growth”

After having a long stint of over 30 years in the most sought after Cadre like IAS and reaching a senior position of Additional Secretary, he has taken the onerous responsibility of steering the country’s most vibrant organization dealing with airport infrastructure that is Airports Authority of India. A brief interview with Mr RK Srivastava, Chairman, Airports Authority of India

What are the measures being taken by AAI regarding the safety and security at airports?

Safety and security are the prime concerns of civil aviation activity around the globe and India is no exception. Security at airports is governed by the specific provisions of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Within India, BCAS lays down AVSEC norms for security. AAI has enabled all the provisions under its domain for commensuration with the same.

Security at airports is being looked after by CISF and the respective State Police. CISF has been introduced at most of the AAI’s airports. Survey and resurveys are carried out in coordination with BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) to assess the threat perception at the respective airports and based on that we adopt the security measures. The intensity of security and provision of equipment is enhanced as per the sensitivity of the airport. We have provided latest security equipment, gadgets and infrastructure to the personnel who are dealing with the security function which includes X-Ray baggage machines, Door Frame Metal Detectors, Hand Held Metal Detectors supported by CCTV at various airports. AAI has also provided explosive trace detectors and inline X-Ray Baggage System at its airports as per need basis.

What are the AAI’s plans, in terms of airport construction, upgradation and planned investments over the next 2-3 years?

At the outset, let me state that AAI has taken all-round initiatives to ensure adequate infrastructure at its airports. With the rising air traffic, improved facilities and services for maintaining desired level of customer satisfaction and commercial exploitation for maintaining the growth of the organization, we are continuously adding more and more airports in the country to meet the expectations of people, thereby enhancing wider connectivity. We have plans of spending 4-5 billion dollars in the next seven years, to add the new capacity of 70 million passengers at the Airport. However, with the new policy aiming to increase the ticket sale from 70 m to 300 m per annum, the CAPEX requirement would be two and a half times more than what is planned today. This, however, would be factored in our revised calibration of supply with demand in different fields of Aviation Infrastructure.

Presently Construction of new Terminal Buildings are being taken up at Portblair, Kishangarh, Pakyong, Hubli, Tezu, Vijayawada and Belgaum .In order to meet the objective of inclusive growth, AAI in line with Government objectives, plans to enhance Regional and Remote area air connectivity in a time bound manner. Under this AAI has been mandated to develop five airports namely Kishangarh, Belgaum, Hubli, Jharsuguda and Tezu for which work is in progress.

AAI will be taking up the implementation of Airport Infrastructure projects on Turnkey/ Design Built model for which EOI has been called for empanelment of PMC. To bridge the gap between capacity and demand, expansion and upgradation of Airports are planned at Lucknow, Guwahati, Leh, Srinagar, Agartala, Trichy, Trivandrum, Port Blair and Vijaywada Airports. Terminal Buildings at Jammu, Trichy, Pune, Calicut and Srinagar are also being expanded and modified. For further improving regional connectivity, AAI is taking up joint ventures with State Governments to develop airports in the remote areas.

As the Chairman of AAI, what are your top priorities for the sector in the next 1-2 years?

The top priorities for the sector in the next 1-2 years would be to transform the image of AAI airports to be the most customer friendly airports at par with anywhere in the globe. We aim to achieve this by augmenting our airports with state of the art infrastructure, provision of new facilities for air navigation, enhancing safety both in air and ground, improving efficiency of air operations in Indian air-space.

We plan to make airports self-sustaining commercial enterprises, by increasing the non-aeronautical revenue. Our endeavour is to make the stakeholders potentially the State Government’s partner in our journey of growth. We plan to augment Food and Beverage facilities, retail services, introduce more international and national brands at airports, provide Business Lounges thus enhancing the options for the travelling public for greater convenience and a sense of hospitality.

AAI also plans to extend CUTE (Common User Terminal Equipment) and CUSS (Common Use Self-Service) services at most of the airports, Implement Inline baggage screening with self-service kiosks, provide PBB (Passenger Boarding Bridges) at most of the airports, provide travellers with information on mobile or gadgets, improve the ambience at the airports, improve signage’s for ease of finding ways in and around the airport, augment parking facilities and provide value added services like paid porters and kids entertainment.

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