Government The Express Tribune to appoint audit firm for outsourcing airports
The government is ready to appoint an audit firm for outsourcing major airports in the country to bring them in line with international standards and increase their earnings.
According to a statement released on Friday, Minister of State for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan chaired a high-level meeting on outsourcing of major airports in the aviation department.
Although proposals to outsource major airports including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad were made during the tenure of previous governments, they could not be implemented.
Earlier, in a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to outsource the country’s major airports to increase its service standards and revenue.
In late May 2020, Information and Broadcasting Minister Shibli Faraj told the media that the government was looking for an international organization with experience in operating and managing airports.
The decision to appoint an audit firm comes as a follow-up to that announcement. Aviation Division spokesman Abdul Sattar Khokhar said that in Friday’s meeting Sarwar was briefed about the process of outsourcing the airports.
The minister was told that an audit firm would be hired at the initial stage to pursue this process in accordance with best international practices, as per Cabinet instructions.
The National Aviation Policy (NAP) 2019 envisages public-private partnership (PPP) for exploiting the commercial and tourism potential of major airports as well as small and medium-sized airports such as Gilgit, Skardu and Chitral. .
As per NAP 2019, at major airports, terminal parties can be outsourced to world-class operators through transparent and competitive bidding.
The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) will earn revenue either in the form of an annual fee or through an appropriate equity partnership model.
Through competitive bidding, the available land at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports will be given to private companies to develop a perishable facility, cold chain and general facility for housing banks, freight and shipping agencies.