ACI World has called for clearer investment regulations to assist countries such as India when they are looking to partner with the private sector on airport development projects.
Speaking at the International Aviation Summit in Dehli, India – organized by IATA, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) – Angela Gittens, director general, ACI World, urged policymakers and regulators to provide a proportionate, clear and consistent regulatory framework to facilitate successful private investment.
ACI predicts that by 2021 India will be the third largest passenger aviation market, catering for an estimated 429 million passengers annually. To meet this demand, according to Gittens, any national transport policy would require a long-term vision that sets clear and firm objectives for achieving the modernization of airports.
“India has proven that the partnership between public and private is a valid option to increase the quality of service for passengers,” she said. “A clear and consistent legal framework should set the groundwork for further processes of privatization of airports, including incentives to attract potential national and foreign investors. The Nabh Nirman 2018 initiative and the proposed new transaction model for future greenfield airports go in this direction.”
According to Gittens, past experiences have indicated that disproportionate attempts to regulate the airport business could discourage future investment.
“The scale of current and forecast demand at Indian airports requires significant investment to maintain and enhance infrastructure as well as passenger service capacity at an appropriate level of quality,” she said. “The traveling public’s expectations for the airport customer experience continue to increase as airports globally have raised their performance levels in this regard. The Airport Service Quality benchmarking program, with more than 340 airports surveyed across the globe, has proven to be an effective objective tool to measure service quality and passenger satisfaction and to drive performance by Indian airports for the benefit of the passengers and the airlines with which they fly.”