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India’s Adani Airports to invest USD7 billion in airport expansion as Indian aviation explodes

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Adani Airports has emerged during the past decade as a major actor in the stop-start privatisation of India's 'main airports by lease concession'.

In a recently published report, CAPA - Centre for Aviation commented on how Australia has 630 airports for a population of 26.6 million (even if many are grass strips), or one for every 42,000 people. Yet in India's case it is just 487 for 1.4 billion (one for every 2,847,000 people), and only 149 of them are commercial airports, the vast majority operated by Airports Authority of India.

More are being built, and the government has prioritised concessions for them and others wherever appropriate. But the scheme - which began in 2006, was briefly resurrected but then faded away in 2015, and then re-emerged again in 2019 - has somnambulated ever since, and will not reactivate until after forthcoming elections.

So for now, Adani Airports has said that it will be concentrating on improving its current portfolio, with what looks like a concentration on landside developments, and with no mean expenditure.

It does so in the knowledge that once the concession process resumes it will face greater competition than it did previously.

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