Green panel nod for Rs 2600 crore GMR Hyderabad airport expansion plan

HYDERABAD: The Expert Appraisal Committee under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has accorded permission for GMR Group’s proposal for the Rs 2,629 crore expansion plan of Rajiv Gandhi international airport here.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) which manages the airport is in the process of expanding the current design capacity from the existing 12 million passengers per annum to 25 million passengers per annum.

The airport handled over 15 million including over three million international passengers last year.

“After detailed deliberations, the EAC recommended the project for environmental clearance and stipulated specific conditions along with other environmental conditions while considering for accord of environmental clearance (for airport expansion programme),” the EAC said in the minutes of the meeting held last month.

“The estimated capital expenditure for the proposed expansion of the RGI airport project is Rs 2629 crore,” it said.

According to the proposal submitted by GHIAL, the project is expected to be financed through a combination of internal accruals and debt which is to be in the range from 70-80 per cent and balance to be through internal accruals.

Project construction is expected to generate more than 5,000 direct employment and double the figure indirect employment which will span across 5-6 years. The indirect employment generation of about 4,000 persons is envisaged for utility services along with other 5,000 to 6,000 in commercial and support services, it added.

As per the master plan, the ultimate capacity of the airport is estimated to reach upto 40 MPA with dual runway connected by two cross taxiways, multiple rapid exit taxiways, two integrated passenger terminals and large dedicated cargo terminals, according to the GMR website.

GHIAL signed the concession agreement with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in December 2004 for a period of 30 years. The airport is operated and managed by the GMR Group, which holds a majority stake in GHIAL through its holding company GMR Airports Limited (GAL).

Rating agency India Ratings in its recent report said GHIAL operates above the created capacity of 12 million pax and is compelled to start a capex programme in FY18.

The current capacity with optimisation measures has the ability to handle about 18 million passengers per annum, it said.

GHIAL’s revenue increased to Rs 1156 crore in FY17 from Rs 645 crore in FY16, due to the resumption of ad-hoc user development fee collections, which were halted in FY15 through a regulatory order.