There have been several posts on this on A.net, but wonder if someone can shed light on some fundamental issues. I can see how things work in the American political-economic system, but how does it differ in the Indian framework:
1. Stakeholders: Airlines need new airports to grow markets. Local governments can grow local economies by enabling airports. The Central government can enable rapid growth in an industry sector. Airport operators can profit handsomely from such a boom.
2. Motivation and Consequences: Clearly the private sector is competitive and directly motivated by economics. What motivation is there for the Centre to be energized, apart from the public-spiritedness of a few officers? What consequences are there for doing nothing? In the US, industry lobbies are a powerful force, and Congressmen make sure that their districts are well-represented. Do these checks and balances exist in the Indian political fabric too?
3. Municipal Capital Markets: Are local bodies able to tap into the debt capital markets to raise financing to build airports? Would this not decentralize the process for the better, or is the scope of funding too large to for local authorities to raise?
4. Role of the Centre: India's hot industries (BPO, IT) exist because the Govt stepped aside, and let private sector forces work. Isn't this the best role for government - make and enforce laws, provide health, education and security, and foster a growth-friendly economic climate? Are they really to be in the business of building airports? What is the role of the AAI - is it a necessary player in any new airport built?
5. Bangalore Airport: Supposed to be the model for public-private partnership, but ended up a decade-long mess before finally breaking ground. The city itself choked, unable to cope with exploding business growth. Did this expose any flaws in the public-private model?
I ask these questions because Indian A.netters have expressed great pride and excitement in India's aviation explosion, yet seem wary about the Indian Government's ability to react with due speed.
The basic question then emerges: What sticks and carrots are in place to make sure that the local and central bodies are onboard to play their part?
Looking forward to visiting the new 'Taj Mahals' in India soon.