Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PPP gone wrong: Industry too thumbs down BIA

PPP gone wrong: Industry too thumbs down BIA

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 23 Dec 2009 04:45:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 23 Dec 2009 08:27:57 AM IST
BANGALORE: A day after the Joint House Committee (JHC) in its report on the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) expressed anguish over the sorry state of affairs and the unresponsive attitude of the management, more voices have come out against the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL).
Globe-trotters and respected names in the industry echoed the views of the JHC and said that the airport failed to meet international standards.
Pioneer of lowcost air travel in India and Deccan Aviation boss G R Gopinath was critical of the BIAL for not encouraging core aviation activities at BIA, and said that it was donning the role of a real estate agency.
“BIAL got concessions from the government. They acquired land at Rs 2 lakh per acre, but now, they are demanding around Rs 2 crore from us to set up an hangar. As a result of this there is no space for charter service at the BIA. The HAL airport, despite being congested, operated around 30 to 40 charter flights every day,” he said.
Though he said that the facilities at BIA were 100 per cent better than those at HAL airport, he felt that the new airport was congested and that two airports should co-exist, a view recommended in the JHC report.
“The major flaw committed by the government was agreeing to close the HAL airport. Across the world, cities have two or three airports.
The new airport is already congested and two or three international flights can’t park next to each other,” he said.
Captain Gopinath said NRN’s name had been unnecessarily dragged and he should not be held responsible for the current mess.
Infosys president Kris Gopalakrishnan found fault in the design of the airport. He said it was not planned to handle a large volume of traffic.
“When the planning was done, about seven or eight years ago, the volume of air traffic was low.
But now that it has picked up, the authorities should find a way to ensure that the size of airport is in sync with the the volume of air traffic,” he said.
He said that the design and aesthetics of the airport were approved by the government and the Airports Authority of India and they should be held responsible.
Former NASSCOM president Kiran Karnik said that BIA, in comparison to its contemporaries like the Hyderabad International Airport, stood far behind.The facilities at BIA were disappointing, he added. The UDF is also seen as not justified in light of the poor facilities offered.

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