|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Sai Baba's airport up for sale
S Kalyana Ramanathan in Chennai | October 31, 2007 02:34 IST
Sri Sathya Sai Airport in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, is up for sale.
The airport's owner, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, which manages the religious and philanthropic assets and work of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, has invited bids for it and put the floor price at Rs 600 crore.
One big attraction of this airport is that it is only 70 km from the Bangalore International Airport, coming up in Devanahalli. The vantage location will allow airlines to feed the southern sector, which currently has 30 major and minor airports.
The other is that, to sweeten the deal, the Trust is throwing in 2,000 acres of adjoining land.
The additional land could be used either for real estate development or for setting up a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility.
The airport is spread over 450 acres. Its runway is 2,230 metres long and currently being used mostly by chartered aircraft. Of late, Kingfisher and Indian have been using this airport as a stopover for their Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam services.
The buzz in the industry is that G R Gopinath, who pioneered low-cost flying in India with Air Deccan, has tied up with a Mumbai-based public figure to put in a bid. Gopinath, however, has denied reports.