Focusing on Green Initiatives
With 63 pc share in the PPP (public-private partnership) model, the Bangalore-based infrastructural company GMR supports government’s initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’, and adheres to green building parameters, says Kishore.
How much shareholding do you have in the Hyderabad airport? What is the capacity in terms of passengers and cargo at the airport?
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) is a joint venture company promoted by the GMR Group (63 pc) in partnership with government of India (13 pc), government of Telangana (13 pc) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (11 pc). The airport currently has a capacity of 12 million passengers per annum (MPPA) and 100,000 tonnes of cargo handling capacity per annum. The project has the flexibility to increase capacity to accommodate over 40 MPPA and shall be developed in a phased manner.
What are the recent developments at the airport?
Hyderabad Airport is amongst the fastest growing airports in India. In terms of airlines flying from the airport, currently, there are 22 airlines operating from here connecting to around 50 destinations globally. Recently, SpiceJet introduced its maiden international flight from Hyderabad Airport connecting the city with Dubai. With this we are offering seven flights daily by five carriers from Hyderabad to the Middle East.
Offering technological edge and innovation to airports and in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ program, we recently became the first airport in India to implement end-to-end, seamless e-boarding process.
On the environment front, we commissioned 5MW solar power plant at Hyderabad Airport for the airport’s captive use.
Our concerted efforts towards environment sustainability at the airport have earned us Golden Peacock Environment Management Award 2015. We also won CII Energy Management Award 2015 recently for our excellent energy efficient unit under building category.
In line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ strategy, GMR’s Aerospace Park at Hyderabad Airport is offering right mix of infrastructural support to businesses in airport- based multiproduct industrial clusters enabling manufacturing and services opportunities within the country. Amongst the recent addition of businesses, we have American aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney on board, which has opened here its third training facility in the world for the purpose of maintenance training on Pratt & Whitney Engines. Air India MRO also opened its state-of-the-art facility for maintenance, repair and overhaul.
We keep on offering innovative passenger engagement services. On this front, we recently became the first airport in India to introduce our passengers with entertainment on demand service giving them freedom to download movies in three minutes at the airport without needing any data or internet connection. This has been done in partnership with Fropcorn, a travel entertainment venture.
We have also actively partnered in the ongoing initiative of the government of Telangana state for empowerment and safety of women passengers by introducing SHE Cab facility – cabs driven by women drivers – for women passengers at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad.
Recently you announced that new buildings and terminals at RGIA will have more solar panels. What prompted you to take such green initiatives? What are the plans in this regard?
GHIAL is always committed towards environmental sustenance. We take pride in the fact that RGIA is first airport in the country and second airport in the Asia Pacific region to get the ACI (Airport Carbon Accreditation) ‘Level 3 – Optmisation’ cretification. We are working towards Level 3 Plus accreditation. We also hold the prestigious ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design New Construction (LEED NC) Silver Rating’ by US Green Building Council.
In order to promote green energy and clean energy, we have commissioned 5MW solar power plant at RGIA for captive utilisation in order to meet our terminal’s day peak hour requirement. The 5MW solar power plant at RGIA is in alignment with the government’s solar vision and the recently announced initiative by the ministry of civil aviation to have solar- powered airports. We also have plans to go for another 7MW solar power plant as part of our energy neutral objective.
How do you wish to utilise commercial opportunities at Hyderabad airport?
Hyderabad Airport always endeavours to provide a delightful experience to passengers – superior passenger amenities and excellent retail and F&B (food and beverages) opportunity at the airport are amongst our key focus areas. We regularly track the dynamics of aviation retail opportunities and listen to the voice of customers, striving to get the best of the global brands available for passengers at the airport. Our retail and F&B portfolio is getting attractive everyday enhancing the passengers’ buying experience at the airport. In addition, we are also getting global brands for our landside development to drive brand Hyderabad and generate socio-economic benefit for the region and state. In our Aerospace & Industrial Park, which is also first of its kind in India, we have got some of the most promising brands that have set up their businesses here – Pratt & Whitney; Air India MRO; Indian Rotorcraft Ltd.; Global Aerotech; GMR Aero Technic; Turbo Jet Engines; SAS Applied Research & Lab Materials and SAAZ Imaging system amongst many in the pipeline.
The cargo business at the airport is doing pretty well. What are your plans for cargo business? What initiatives have been planned?
The Cargo village at RGIA was commissioned in 2008. It is the first cargo complex in India to have implemented the concept of an Integrated Cargo Terminal with both domestic and international facilities under one seamless roof. The cargo village also has a dedicated Cargo Satellite Building (CSB) for cargo agents offices, airlines, regulatory bodies and warehousing space, all available at a single facility right next to the cargo terminal. We are in the process of developing a Strong Logistic Zone at RGIA.
We also have plans to build facilities for new cargo segments. Keeping in account the current demand at RGIA, we are also looking at increasing the warehouse space and developing an integrated logistics ecosystem. There are also several marketing & promotion initiatives to attract more freighter airlines to operate at RGIA. We are also striving to attract more customers for our airport-based Aerospace & Industrial Park to boost our air logistics business.
How has your pharma zone been working? What are the expansion plans as many airports are working on the pharma sector?
Pharma Zone at RGIA Cargo Terminal has seen steady growth over the last few years. We expect this growth to continue in the coming years as more and more pharma exporters are adopting the WHO GMP and GSDP practices to meet the standards in manufacturing and distribution. We will continue to grow our international connectivity and expand our cargo network. Further, we are also exploring on expansion of our facilities within the cargo village.
In general, what are the major challenges the sector is facing today and how is the road ahead? Is PPP the only way to boost India’s airport infrastructure?
With the recent improvements in the economic environment, we have seen an uptick in air traffic figures and as our country’s economy grows, more and more people will start opting for air travel that will boost the passenger traffic further in the days to come. This growth will place major demands on our existing airport and allied infrastructure and we will need to move quickly to address this by expanding the existing airports and also by building new airports where required. As our experience over the past decade or so has shown, PPP model has successfully delivered the required boost to our country’s airport infrastructure and it continues to be the best way forward in addressing our future needs as well, bringing in the best that both public and private sector have to offer towards development of the nation’s infrastructure.
However, to effectively leverage the potential offered by the aviation industry and to attract more investments, it is imperative that we resolve some of the issues that have affected the sector. We need to ensure that there is consistency of policy and regulation, stability, clarity and adherence to the terms of concession agreements over the course of the entire concession period so as to boost the investor’s confidence in participating in PPP projects. We also need to ensure availability of long term financing on favourable terms to fund the creation of these national assets, which will go a long way in bringing down the costs of these highly capital intensive projects.
We have gathered for Hyderabad airshow. What exactly would Hyderabad Airport be looking for at this show?
Hyderabad Airshow is indeed an iconic event, which Hyderabad Airport takes pride to be associated with. India Aviation is India’s largest and globally acknowledged event on civil aviation. It gives us a right platform to showcase the world- class infrastructure and highlight unique business opportunities for industry players and global brands to be a part of Hyderabad Airport ecosystem and partner with Hyderabad airport.