The operator of Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) GVK will require certification from the Ministry of Civil Aviation before it can practice its first right of refusal or bid for the Navi Mumbai International Airport Limited (NMIAL) Project, Sanjay Bhatia, Vice chairperson and managing director of CIDCO, the nodal agency in charge of the project, told FE on Wednesday.
The required certification from the Ministry of Civil Aviation should consent that the Hyderabad-based company's performance at the Mumbai airport project has been satisfactory and in accordance to the Ministry's expectations.
Mumbai's airport operator GVK was on Monday criticised by Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU), in a report tabled in Parliament, for making “highly irregular withdrawals” from the escrow account meant for fees collected from passengers to provide security. The civil aviation ministry also came under severe criticism from the parliamentary panel for allowing this to happen.
“I haven't been communicated anything on this regard,” Bhatia said adding, “But, according to the rules, only after they (GVK) give me the certificate will they be allowed to bid or given their first right of refusal.”
The Rs 14, 574 crore NMIAL project is also attracting several international agencies and consortia apart from Indian companies like GVK, GMR, L&T, and others who are reportedly interested to develop the airport under public-private-partnership (PPP) model. The Zurich Airport Authority, which currently holds 5% stake in Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), one of the overseas contenders for the project.
“They are very keen to bid for the NMIAL,” said Bhatia, who meet Zurich Airport Authority representatives at Davos, as a part of Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan delegation.
The British Airport Authority (BAA) is also another overseas party that may be interested in the project.
“I am meeting the British Airport delegation. So, I presume they are also interested in NMIAL,” Bhatia said.
He however added that since there are only a handful of companies that have the experience of running an airport by themselves, most foreign parties interested in the NMIAL, like their domestic competition, are most likely to form a consortia to make their bids for the airport project.
“What we are specifying is that they (bidders) have to have three things in place – financial capabilities, Rs 2375 crore of positive net worth, and they should have had handled airport project worth Rs 9500 crore in the last few years. Apart from this the interested parties should have a significant experience of running airport,” Bhatia