Global majors, including Jones Lang LaSalle, Hochtief AirPort, Lufthansa Consulting and Airport Consulting Vienna, have expressed interest in drafting the architectural designs for the Mumbai and Delhi airports.
According to government sources, about 17 international architects and consultants have submitted expressions of interest for the projects.
"We will allow most of these consultants to present architectural designs for the airports as most of them fulfill our criteria of having international experience in developing airport infrastructure," a senior government official said.
The other consultants in the fray include Marshall Macklin Monaghan of Canada, BTY Ltd and Scott Wilson Patrick of the UK.
After the consultants submit their designs, the Airports Authority of India will set up a jury to select the most suitable design for the two airports. The final selections are likely to be completed by October 2003.
Most of the companies have some experience either in airport construction and management or in the airline industry.
Marshall Macklin Monaghan has undertaken over 250 airport projects in Canada, the US, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
Germany's Hochtief AirPort has a 39.2 per cent share in the Hamburg airport and a 30 per cent stake in the Dusseldorf airport. In 1995, Hochtief had bagged the contract for building and operating the international airport in Athens.
In 2002, Hochtief, along with its partners, won the bid for the privatisation of the Sydney Airports Corporation. At present, the company is the advisor for the Senai airport of Malaysia.
Besides managing the Vienna airport, Airport Consulting Vienna has also acted as consultants for the building of an international terminal at the Istanbul airport. Lufthansa Consulting provides consultancy services to the airlines industry.
The AAI hopes to complete the corporatisation of the two airports along with the design selection. The civil aviation and finance ministries still have to work out the details of the joint venture formation for the airports.