ISLAMABAD: Defending the government’s move to outsource the country’s three major airports, a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Saturday said the decision was aimed at improving service quality at the airports and making them globally competitive.

“The objective is to make our airports globally competitive by implementing best practices and exploiting their untapped revenue potential,” the official said in a statement.

The statement came a day after the Aircraft Owners and Operators Associa­tion of Pakistan condemned the move and planned to challenge it in court.

The CAA spokesperson, however, said no law of the land was being violated in this process, adding that complete adherence to the Public Private Partnership Authority (P3A) Act 2017 and P3A Regulations was being ensured.

He clarified that no decision had been made to outsource operations and land assets to the International Finance Cor­poration (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, stating that IFC mandate was to provide transaction advisory services for outsourcing the airports.

The official said no airport would be outsourced if the process adopted did not indicate “appreciable growth in revenues and improvement in quality of service standards”.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2023

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