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Taking Off to the Future to develop private airports

Thursday, 04 Jul 2019
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Chennai-based Taking Off to the Future (TOFL) is planning to develop private airports, both greenfield and brownfield. Taking this initiative further, TOFL has formed a SEBI-approved, airport-specific Rs 10,000 crore fund. The Taking Off to the Future Airport Fund is a Category II Alternative Investment Fund (AIF), and supposedly a first of its kind in the airport sector.

A sovereign fund has shown interest in investing around 30 percent in AIF. TOFL will target a deal that will generate an annual gross internal rate of return (IRR) of 20 percent on investments. For airport development, TOFL has formed a team consisting of Larsen & Toubro (for construction), Netherlands Airport Consultants BV (planning, design and engineering),

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (legal), Star Global Aero Solutions (consultancy) and RITES (consultancy). To begin with, TOFL is keen to develop a greenfield project south of Chennai at a cost of nearly Rs 4,500 crore.

With the existing Chennai airport likely to reach saturation in 10 years, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is looking for a greenfield project on the outskirts of the city.

Around 1,500 acre of land located 52 km from Chennai airport, between Chengelpattu and Madurantakam, has been acquired. The location is ideal to develop an international airport-cum-aerotropolis/integrated township. AAI has shown interest in the location, but the state government is yet to give its clearance.

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