Airports Authority of India

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Airports Authority of India
Industry Aviation sector
Founded 1 April 1995
Headquarters Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan,
Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi-110003
Key people

Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra , Chairman
B.S. Bhullar, DGCA Profile
S. Suresh, Member(Finance)
" 'Sudhir Raheja' ", Member(Planning)
Anuj Aggarwal, Member(HR)

A.K. Dutta, Member(ANS)
Products Airport management
Number of employees
17,379 (As on 31.03.2017)

The Airports Authority of India or AAI under the Ministry of Civil Aviation is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India. It provides Air traffic management (ATM) services over Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas. It also manages a total of 125[1] Airports, including 18[2] International Airports, 7 Customs Airports, 78 Domestic Airports and 26 Civil enclaves at Military Airfields. AAI also has ground installations at all airports and 25 other locations to ensure safety of aircraft operations. AAI covers all major air-routes over Indian landmass via 29 Radar installations at 11 locations along with 700VOR/DVOR installations co-located with Distance Measuring Equipment (DME). 52 runways are provided with Instrument landing system (ILS) installations with Night Landing Facilities at most of these airports and Automatic Message Switching System at 15 Airports.

AAI's implementation of Automatic Dependence Surveillance System (ADSS), using indigenous technology, at Kolkata and Chennai Air Traffic Control Centres, made India the first country to use this technology in the South East Asian region thus enabling Air Traffic Control over oceanic areas using satellite mode of communication. Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures have already been implemented at Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad Airports and are likely to be implemented at other Airports in a phased manner. AAI is implementing the GAGAN project in technological collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), where the satellite based system will be used for navigation. The navigation signals thus received from the GPS will be augmented to achieve the navigational requirement of aircraft. First phase of technology demonstration system was completed in February 2008.

AAI has four training establishments viz. The Civil Aviation Training College (CATC) at Allahabad, National Institute of Aviation Management and Research (NIAMAR) at Delhi and Fire Training Centres (FTC) at Delhi & Kolkata. An Aerodrome Visual Simulator (AVS) has been provided at CATC and non-radar procedural ATC simulator equipment is being supplied to CATC Allahabad and Hyderabad Airport. AAI has a dedicated Flight Inspection Unit (FIU) with a fleet of three aircraft fitted with flight inspection system to inspect Instrument Landing Systems up to Cat-III, VORs, DMEs, NDBs, VGSI (PAPI, VASI) and RADAR (ASR/MSSR). In addition to in-house flight calibration of its navigational aids, AAI undertakes flight calibration of navigational aids for the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and other private airfields in the country.

AAI has entered into Joint Ventures at Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Nagpur Airports to upgrade these airports.


The Government of India constituted the International Airports Authority of India (IAAI) in 1972 to manage the nation's international airports while the National Airports Authority (NAA) was constituted in 1986 to look after domestic airports.[3][4] The organisations were merged in April 1995 by an Act of Parliament, namely, the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994 and has been constituted as a Statutory Body and was named as Airports Authority of India (AAI). This new organisation was to be responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure both on the ground and air space in the country.


  • Design, Development, Operation and Maintenance of international and domestic airports and civil enclaves.
  • Control and Management of the Indian airspace extending beyond the territorial limits of the country, as accepted by ICAO.
  • Construction, Modification and Management of passenger terminals.
  • Development and Management of cargo terminals at international and domestic airports.
  • Provision of passenger facilities and information system at the passenger terminals at airports.
  • Expansion and strengthening of operation area, viz. Runways, Aprons, Taxiway etc.
  • Provision of visual aids.
  • Provision of Communication and Navigation aids, viz. ILS, DVOR, DME, Radar etc.

Passenger Facilities

  • Construction, modification & management of passenger terminals, development & management of cargo terminals, development & maintenance of apron infrastructure including runways, parallel taxiways, apron etc.,
  • Provision of Communication, navigation and surveillance which includes provision of DVOR / DME, ILS, ATCt radars, visual aids etc., provision of air traffic services, provision of passenger facilities and related amenities at its terminals thereby ensuring safe and secure operations of aircraft, passenger and cargo in the country.

Air Navigation Services

AAI Air Traffic Services, Indira Gandhi International Airport

In tune with its global approach to modernise Air Traffic Services (ATS) infrastructure for seamless navigation across state and regional boundaries, AAI is upgrading to satellite based Communication, Navigation, Surveillance (CNS) and Air Traffic Management. A number of co-operation agreements and memoranda of co-operation have been signed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), European Union, Airservices Australia and the French Government Co-operative Projects and Studies initiated to gain from their experience. Through these activities more and more executives of AAI are being exposed to the latest technology, modern practices & procedures being adopted to improve the overall performance of Airports and Air Navigation Services.

Some of the major initiatives in this area are introduction of Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) in Indian air space to increase capacity and reduce congestion in the air; implementation of GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) jointly with ISRO which when put to operation would be one of the four such systems in the world. AAI is a full member of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO).

IT Implementation

AAI website is a website giving a host of information about the organisation besides domestic and international flight schedules and such other information of interest to the public in general and passengers in particular.

HRD Training

AAI has a number of training establishments, viz. NIAMAR in Delhi, CATC in Allahabad, Fire Training Centres at Delhi & Kolkata for in-house training of its engineers, Air Traffic Controllers, Rescue & Fire Fighting personnel etc. NIAMAR & CATC are members of ICAO TRAINER programme under which they share Standard Training Packages (STP) from a central pool for imparting training on various subjects. Both CATC & NIAMAR have also contributed a number of STPs to the Central pool under ICAO TRAINER programme. Foreign students have also been participating in the training programme being conducted by these institution


Most of AAI's revenue is generated from landing/parking fees and fees collected by providing CNS & ATC services to aircraft over the Indian airspace.

Privatisation of Airports

The AAI was involved in a tussle with the Ministry of Civil Aviation over the issue of privatisation of its two most profitable airports at Delhi and Mumbai. The Government of India handed over these two airports to private companies for the purpose of modernisation in 2006 under revenue sharing agreement to the GMR Group and GVK group respectively. the Nagpur Airport was transferred to the Maharashtra State owned MADC.

In addition to these, several greenfield airports are being operated by Private consortiums,[5] namely, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad (first of its kind in India), Bengaluru International Airport, Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport at Durgapur in West Bengal, and Cochin International Airport at Cochin,Kerala. has stated that, Central Government is working on adopting the ‘Land Pooling’ methodology as an alternative mechanism for development and expansion of airports. Under ‘Land Pooling’ mechanism, various land owners pool their land and hand it over to the infrastructure development authority. These land owners get back 60-70% of their land after infrastructure is developed on it. This 60-70% land will have much higher valuation as compared to the total 100% holding before the infrastructure was developed. On the other hand, the 30-40% of land retained by the developer (without paying acquisition cost) is used to fulfill its objective. Thus, ‘Land-Pooling’, theoretically turns out to be a win-win situation for the land holder as well as for the developer.

‘Land-Pooling’ methodology for urban development has so far been adopted in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Currently, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad has been assigned a task to explore the possibility of adopting ‘Land-Pooling’ for development of three Greenfield airports and expansion of three brownfield airports. ‘Land Pooling’ as an alternate mechanism to ‘Land Acquisition’ for Airport Expansion:

Indian aviation space has witnessed a significant surge in air passenger traffic in recent years. In order to accommodate this growth, AAI has already chalked out plans to expand current capacities of terminals and bays at airports. However the increased capacity too will be saturated on account of high growth and more land will be needed for further expansion.

So far, State Governments were providing the land free of cost to AAI. However, since January 2015, when the First Schedule to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 came in to force, cost of acquiring land for State governments has shot up significantly and they have become reluctant to acquire and hand over the land to AAI for expansion. In this situation, ‘Land Pooling’ emerges as the only available and viable alternative for airports expansion.

International Projects

The AAI has been involved in various consultancy projects with Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Maldives, Nauru and Afghanistan. The AAI also provides trained personnel for operation, maintenance and management of airports in these countries [6]

The AAI and the Sri Lankan airport authority will form a joint venture to operate Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport which is dubbed as the "world's emptiest airport."

See also


  1. ^ "Airports Authority of India". Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Airports Authority of India". Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Private Airports in India". Archived from the original on 18 June 2014. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived 28 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

  • Official website
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