Interview with S Suresh


October 31, 2017

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October - December 2017

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S Suresh, Member (Finance), AAI

S Suresh, Member (Finance), AAI

S Suresh, the Member (Finance) of Airports Authority of India (AAI) talks to AIBM about the various initiatives that will be undertaken by them to realise the full revenue potential of the aviation sector in India while simultaneously providing top-notch services to the travellers.

How do you plan to unlock the financial potential of Airports Authority of India (AAI) in coming years?

Financial potential in coming years will be unlocked in a number of ways. Introduction of cargo facilities wherever not available is one such method. The existing facilities can be upgraded for perishable and non-perishable facilities for food and beverages. The next step includes introduction of business centres and convention centres wherever land and potential exist.

Passenger related facilities like car parking and tourist accommodations will be upgraded and introduced wherever not available and wherever land is available Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) facilities will be introduced.

It is widely reported that only 13 of the 126 airports of AAI are currently making profit. What is the turnaround strategy in place to meet the NITI Aayog target of 35 pc hike in revenue?

Wherever seasonal traffic is more and land is available, tourist huts and hotels will be built. Facilities will be re-designed in such a way that during lean period the facility can be shut down to minimise operating costs.

For airports that are situated in cities, revenue can be generated via introduction of exhibition grounds and display/ sales facilities for consumer goods household items, cars, vehicles, etc.

Revenue of parking area can be increased by discouraging parking of vehicles outside authorised parking areas.

Government of India has already launched Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) to increase flow of passengers at remote locations thus enabling AAI to further enhance the revenue from commercial activities in these locations.

How does AAI plan to focus on increasing revenue from non-aeronautical and cargo operations?

AAI plans to introduce the following initiatives:

a. Cargo facilities for perishable, non-perishable and a/c cargo facilities.

b. Construction of business centres, guest rooms, exhibition ground and more display/demo areas.

c. Entering into joint ventures for construction of housing and shopping complexes.

d. Introduction of MRO facilities and academy for aircraft aviation engineer at these MRO facilities.

e. Give more autonomy to airports so that they can take spontaneous decisions for revenue generating opportunities.

How far will the move to monetise land assets owned by the AAI improve its revenue flow?

Land is proposed to be utilised for commercial activities, including hospitality business and warehousing.

How is the AAI overcoming its challenge of financing the modernisation of vast number of airports across the country?

By entering into joint ventures with players in different fields AAI plans to overcome the challenge of financing and modernisation. Creating new facilities on turnkey basis through global bids is also on the agenda.

Offering airlines and operators incentives to increase traffic flow at airports so that they can commercially utilise existing facilities and introducing cost-cutting measures are also on the agenda.



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