Friday, February 22, 2008

‘I will be relieved when airport opens’

‘I will be relieved when airport opens’
Anshul Dhamija & Mini Joseph Tejaswi | TNN

Bangalore: Overseeing the development and construction of a mega project is no mean feat. And Albert Brunner, CEO, Bengaluru International Airport, has met his commitment of opening the new Rs 2,500-crore airport on March 30, despite numerous hurdles.
Brunner says some major challenges had been negotiating on various concession agreements with all stakeholders including the government; negotiating and getting sanctions from various ministerial bodies like civil aviation, defence and finance; and completing the project within the given time even as he was compelled to incorporate various changes in design and related adjustments at the airport. “I’ll be relieved when the airport opens,” said Brunner. However, the challenge will get tougher as the expansion of the airport entails doubling the investment with another round of negotiations on the cards. Brunner was appointed as CEO of BIAL in 2002. He’s been in the airport business for the last 16 years and has played a key role in planning the $2 billion Zurich airport expansion in Switzerland.
Sources said the most painful experience for Brunner has been the whole experience with the government’s apathy towards the airport infrastructure, connectivity and logistics. The government had enough and more time to develop adequate connectivity, as the project was mooted almost ten years ago.
It has been an uphill task for Brunner and there has been speculation that he may relinquish his post as CEO after the airport takes off on March 30. When TOI checked with him, he denied it: “At the moment, I have no plans of relinquishing my post. My contract with BIAL ends in April 2009. If I get a better offer before or later, I’ll definitely consider it.’’
Brunner was one of the first to moot the idea of a mass transportation Metro rail link, which the government is now working on.


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