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“AAI needs loans to complete project”

P. Oppili

CHENNAI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has to obtain loans to bear cost escalation in the Chennai airport expansion project, said Sitaram Yechury, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, here on Wednesday.

Mr. Yechury inspected the various project sites at the airport and held a review meeting with AAI officials. He told The Hindu that airports operated under the Private Public Partnership charged the passengers heavily in the form of development or user development fee for developing the airports. However, the Committee did not want a similar situation in the AAI-operated airports. Talking about airport expansion project, Mr. Yechury conceded that it was already delayed by one year.

The AAI authorities explained that the delay in international terminal building work was due to the delay in land acquisition. On the domestic terminal side, there were rocky patches which contributed to the delay.

The AAI authorities assured the Committee that both the new terminal buildings would be commissioned by December this year or Jaunary 2012.

“The AAI officials are fairly confident of commissioning the terminal buildings by that time. We (the Committee) also wanted the new facilities to be top quality and cautioned them that their reputation is at stake,” Mr. Yechury said.

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