English, Fake News

Lucknow airport was not mortgaged at 46 crores but leased at Rs 171/passenger for 50 years to Adani Group


A post is being shared on Facebook with a claim that Modi has mortgaged profit-making Lucknow airport to Adani for 50 years at a paltry price. Let’s try to analyze the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be found here.

Claim: Modi mortgaged Lucknow Airport at 46 crores for 50 years. Lucknow Airport makes a profit of 120 crores per year.   

Fact: The Lucknow Airport is not mortgaged but leased for 50 years to Adani group after inviting bids. The lease was granted based on revenue per passenger model. There was no fixed amount for the grant of the bid. Also, based on the data available for years 2014-15 to 2017-18, the profit of Lucknow airport never went beyond 100 crores. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

When searched on Google for the information given in the post, news articles regarding the leasing out of airports can be found in the search results. According to an article in the ‘Times of India’, the Government cleared leasing out Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangalore airports to Adani Group under PPP model. The press release on the bid figures of five airports (except Guwahati Airport) can be found on the Airports Authority of India (AAI) website. According to the release, the Adani Group won the bid for all the five airports by quoting higher prices among the other bidders. The lease was granted for 50 years based on ‘Revenue per passenger’ payable to AAI by the bidder. There was no fixed price such as 46 crores for 50 years, as quoted in the post. The union Cabinet approved leasing of these airports a few days ago.

The annual passenger traffic at the Lucknow Airport is around 5.5 million (according to AAI data for the year 2018-19). So, if Adani Group pays 171 Rupees per passenger, then AAI will get around 94 crores per year.

According to the information provided by AAI in reply to an RTI filed by FACTLY, the profits of Lucknow Airport between the years 2014-15 to 2017-18 never crossed 100 crore mark.

To sum it up, Lucknow airport was not mortgaged at 46 crores but leased at Rs 171/passenger for 50 years to Adani Group. Even at this price, the AAI will get a greater amount than the profit earned from the operations of the Lucknow airport.

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