More than 20 major airports, which could include Chennai and Kolkata, may be handed over to private developers for operation. However, the Airports Authority of India will remain the master employer.

“We have not decided on which airports will be put on the block. But soon a list of such airports will be made and handed over to the civil aviation ministry,” said outgoing Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of AAI Guruprasad Mohapatra. Mohapatra has now been posted as secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

Adani Enterprises Limited has been handed over the management, development and operation of Guwahati, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram airports for 50 years under public-private partnership.

Mohapatra said private parties are showing a keen interest in bidding for major airports. “It is only the major airports that the private players are interested in,” he said.

Mohapatra said the capital expenditure on the airport sector has crossed Rs 25,000 crore. “In all cities there is some or the other airport development work going on,” he added.