Airport Authority: Meaning and Functions

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) was established on April 1, 1995, by an Act of Parliament under the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994, by combining the former National Airports Authority and the International Airports Authority of India. As a result of the merger, a single organization was formed with the responsibility for developing, improving, managing, and overseeing the nation's civil aviation infrastructure, both on the ground and in the air.

The Indian Airports Authority is headquartered in New Delhi. AAI is in charge of 125 airports, including 26 civil enclaves on military bases, 07 customs airports, 18 international airports, 78 domestic airports, and 18 customs airports. The AAI is in charge of developing, improving, maintaining, and managing India's civil aviation infrastructure. The main duty of the AAI is to provide Air Traffic Management (ATM) services over the airspace of the Indian Territory and the nearby marine areas.

Airport Authority of India

Section 3 provides for the establishment of the Airports Authority of India, which states that the Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish an authority to be known as the Airports Authority of India.

The Authority shall consist of

  • A Chairperson to be appointed by the Central Government;

  • Ex officio appointment by the Central Government of the Director General of Civil Aviation or an officer not lower in rank than the Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation;

  • The Central Government will appoint not less than eight and no more than fourteen members.

Section 4 provides for disqualification, and a person is disqualified from being appointed as a member if he- or she −

  • Has been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offense involving moral turpitude in the opinion of the Central Government; or

  • Is an undischarged insolvent; or

  • Is of unsound mind and has been declared as such by a competent court; or

  • Has been removed or dismissed from the Government's or a body corporate owned or controlled by the Government's service; or

  • Has a financial or other interest in the Authority that, in the opinion of the Central Government, is likely to impair the performance of his duties as a member.

Functions of the Authority

Section 12 of the Act provides for the functions of the authority and accordingly, some of the functions of the authority are as follows −

  • It is the responsibility of the Authority to effectively manage airports, civil enclaves, and aeronautical communication stations, subject to any rules made in this regard by the Central Government.

  • At any airport and in civil enclaves, the Authority shall be responsible for providing air traffic service and air transportation service.

  • Plan, develop, build, maintain, and repair airport runways, taxiways, aprons, terminals, and auxiliary structures;

  • Provide any technical, financial, or other assistance that the Central Government may deem necessary for such a purpose in order to establish airports or assist in the establishment of private airports.

  • Plan, acquire, install, and maintain ground aids, communication tools, beacons, and navigational aids at airports and other locations deemed necessary for the safe operation and navigation of aircraft;

  • In coordination with other agencies, offer facilities for search and rescue and air safety services;

  • Establish institutions, schools, or training facilities for its officers and staff to receive training in any area related to the goals of this Act;

  • Constructing a residential complex for its employees;

  • Establish and operate hotel rooms, restaurants, and restrooms at or close to airports;

  • Establish cargo complexes and warehouses at the airports for the processing and storage of goods;

  • Establish facilities for postal, money exchange, insurance, and telephone use by travelers and other people at airports and civil enclaves;

  • Make suitable preparations for watch and ward at the civil enclaves and airports;

  • Regulate and oversee vehicle traffic, as well as visitor and passenger entry and exits, in airports and civil enclaves while keeping in mind the government of India's security and protocol duties.

  • Establish and manage heliports and airstrips;

  • Perform any additional tasks that the Central Government deems desirable or necessary for ensuring the safe and effective operation of aircraft into, out of, and through Indian airspace;

  • Establish workshops and training facilities


The Airport Authority of India, a significant organization, has a significant influence on the development of civil aviation in India. The AAI, a Ministry of Civil Aviation department, is in charge of managing, developing, and maintaining airports in India.

The broad range of duties assigned to the AAI under the Airport Authority of India Act, 1994 includes all aspects of airport management, air traffic management, and regulation of air transport services. The AAI is a vital organization that has made significant contributions to the expansion and advancement of civil aviation in India.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the Airport Authority of India (AAI)?

Ans. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is a statutory body responsible for the management and operation of airports in India. It was created by the Airport Authority of India Act, of 1994.

Q2. What is the objective of the Airport Authority of India?

Ans. The main objective of the Airport Authority of India is to provide safe, secure, efficient, and cost-effective air navigation services to aircraft in Indian airspace.

Q3. What are the functions of the Airport Authority of India?

Ans. The Airport Authority of India is responsible for the management, operation, maintenance, and development of civil aviation infrastructure in India, including airports, air traffic services, communication and navigation aids, and other aviation-related

Q4. What is the role of the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) concerning the Airport Authority of India?

Ans. The Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) is responsible for determining and regulating the tariffs for aeronautical services provided by the Airport Authority of India.

Updated on: 08-May-2023


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