The Bhogapuram greenfield airport project near Visakhapatnam is on track again with Andhra Pradesh Airport Development Corporation Ltd inviting request for proposals (RFPs) for development, operations and maintenance of the airport.
The Corporation, a special purpose vehicle set up by the government, expects to finalise the developer by the year end. A pre-bid meeting has been scheduled for August 6.
Project scope expanded
The scope of the airport project to be developed under the public private partnership (PPP) mode has been expanded and the cost of the project for 18 million passengers a year for three phases to ₹4,208 crore with phase one for 6 mppa at ₹2,302 crore.
The State government first invited request for proposals in 2016 and finalised the bid of Airports Authority of India which had offered a revenue share of 30.2 per cent as against the only other player, the GMR group, offering 21.6 per cent revenue share.
The government, which approved the bid of AAI, cancelled it on the grounds that it would like to develop an integrated airport project, which includes Aviation University, MRO, airport city and related infrastructure.
The Airport Corporation, formerly known as Bhogapuram International Airport Corporation Ltd, has set August 24 as the last date for submission of RFPs and a bid meeting has been scheduled for August 6. The applicant can be a single entity or a group company but need to have a net worth of ₹590 crore.
Following the cancellation of the contract, the AAI represented to the government that they were open to take up development of other infrastructure and that the necessary additional aspects could be built into the contract as per the concession agreement. However, the State Cabinet was firm that the earlier bid process would be cancelled and a fresh RFP would be floated to take up the project in PPP mode.
Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State of Civil Aviation, replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha last week, said Airports Authority of India was prepared to take up the construction of the airport.
Some members of the opposition Congress also wrote to the Union Aviation Minister and the Prime Minister about what they described as unilateral cancellation of the contract awarded to AAI. They said AAI was awarded the contract as it had offered higher revenue share. Yet the bid was cancelled after awarding the contract.