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Sharmili Mallick

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has issued tenders to establish multiple retail outlets, food and beverage vends, cab services, porter services and ATMs at Terminal 1 of the Bhubaneswar airport in Odisha, officials said.

The board of the Centre-run AAI had last month approved privatisation of 13 airports, including the one in Bhubaneswar.

Officials told PTI that many tenders have been issued during the last few months asking private entities to establish retail outlets and food and beverage outlets in various parts of this airport's Terminal 1, which handles the entire domestic passenger traffic.

The AAI officials said since the airport did not have adequate ATM machines, the tenders have been issued for banks to establish ATM machines at the terminal for a period of seven years.

The AAI has also issued a tender for app-based cab companies which would like to establish their services at the airport, they mentioned.

Moreover, as many passengers have been asking for porter services, the AAI has issued a tender for that too, they stated.

Terminal 1 of the Bhubaneswar airport handles the entire domestic passenger traffic while Terminal 2 handles international traffic.

While international traffic is negligible right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AAI has issued tenders for private entities to establish money exchange counters at both the terminals of the airport, the officials mentioned.

In September 2021, Bhubaneswar airport handled 2.52 lakh domestic passengers and just six international passengers, as per the AAI's data.

In September last year, the airport handled 1.43 lakh passengers and 123 international passengers, according to the AAI's data.

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