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BIAL contract re-negotiation – a time for sincerity – Bangalore Aviation

BIAL contract re-negotiation – a time for sincerity

Yesterday, a division bench of the Karnataka High Court directed the Union and State governments, and the Airports Authority of India to “explore the possibility of minimising, if not completely removing, the inconveniences and difficulties of the people”, and to immediately consider renegotiating the closure of the HAL Airport and levy of User Development Fee (UDF) on passengers, with the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) consortium.

The Indian aviation market led by Bangalore, has revolutionised since the original Concession Agreement was conceived and signed. BIAL has probably realised that it has severely under-estimated the meteoric growth, and along with Bangalore, it is in an assured position, to realise its original profits.

In adopting an accommodative position, BIAL may not earn profits as quickly, as in an exclusive position, but definitely much faster than its original projections, when it commenced this project. In addition to good corporate governance, BIAL will realise the elusive benefit of great PR and community goodwill.

A non-exclusive BIAL will also allow for the areas around Devanahalli to develop societal infrastructure like housing, schools, business parks, etc., and this will reduce the pressure on BIAL and the State Government, and ease the life of employees at the airport.

The court judgement has given both the Union and State Governments, and BIAL, the political cover, to make a sincere effort and it is up to us, the residents of Bangalore, to be vigilant, and ensure, that this time we get a Concession Agreement, one in tune with the changed landscape of the Indian Aviation market, and one truly meeting the needs of Bangalore, and South Karnataka. Not just for our lifetime, but for those of our children also.

The stakeholders, including Bangaloreans, should involve the Indian Parliament’s Departmentally Related Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism & Culture. This committee was also cited by the division bench in its ruling. I recommend you write to the Committee Chairman Shri Sitaram Yechury or Karnataka Rajya Sabha MP Shri Rajeev Chandrashekar.

Please do post your views as a comment using the link below.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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