NEW DELHI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has decided to terminate the licences for ground handling services at various aerodromes as part of implementing the new rules for such activities, according to a senior official.
Less than two months after the civil aviation ministry came out with the new ground handling services regulations, the AAI has decided to cancel the existing licenses given to such service providers and go for the fresh tendering process.
Under the new norms, domestic scheduled airline operators and helicopters can carry out ground handling on their own.
Confirming the move to terminate the existing licenses for ground handling services, AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra told PTI that it has been done to "ensure a level playing field" for the ground handling agencies.
AAI manages around 125 airports, including 78 domestic aerodromes and 26 civil enclaves.
"In order to implement the Ground Handling Services Regulations 2017 in letter and spirit, the AAI has taken a policy decision to terminate all existing licenses awarded for ground handling services at its airports and for inducing ground handling agencies through fresh tenders," as per a communication.
This is one of the communications sent out by the AAI to a ground handling agency.
Ground handling services include aircraft cleaning and servicing, loading and unloading of food and beverages, besides cargo and luggage handling at the airports.
"A foreign airline may undertake self-handling in respect of passenger and baggage handling activities, excluding security functions listed out... At the airport terminals restricted to passenger
check-in at pre-security hold area, at all the airports, except civil enclaves or joint user defence airfields," according to the new norms.
Among others, airports having a million passengers per annum capacity or more are required to have three ground handling agencies.