Airports Authority identifies eight airports for real estate development

The Goa Airport operated by AAI

Airports Authority of India said it has identified eight airports where it intends to carry out commercial real estate development once the government relaxes the relevant rule.

The airports are Lucknow, Kolkata, Amritsar, Varanasi, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, Raipur and Tirupati, it said in a statement.

Separately, the Airports Authority — which owns and operates most of the airports in India — has submitted an amendment to the AAI Act to remove a restriction that prevents it from using its property for non-aviation, non-hospitality purposes. The final approval for the amendment has to be given by the union cabinet.

It is understood that the AAI is keen on using some of its land for developing shopping centers or malls, especially in towns and cities where the airport is located inside or close to the heart of the city.

The government undertaking possesses 55,800 acres of land across India, all of which are part of one airport or the other.

At present, the AAI Act stipulates that the Authority can use its land only for building residential buildings for its staff, operating hotels, restaurants and warehouses or for establishing communication and postal facilities.

The authority operates around 50 airports in India, but most of them are uneconomical due to the lack of or low number of commercial flights that operate out of them.