The air transport sector including airlines, airports and providers of air navigation services have largely been State controlled. Formerly, most airlines were State owned. However, the ownership pattern of airlines has changed gradually to the majority of the airlines being privately owned as a part of globalization and liberalization of economies. These observations can be made in the case of airports too. State owned airports are being privatized in many States due to various reasons. The trend started with the privatization of British Airports Authority (BAA) owned airports in United Kingdom (UK). Europe, Asia and Latin America are now witnessing privatization of airports on a fast track basis. Australia and New Zealand have also privatized their State owned airports in the last decade. Though the models vary depending upon the economic policy of the State, the concept of privatization or private participation in airport infrastructure is gaining momentum in these States. However, the United States of America (USA) remains an exception to this trend of airport privatization. In 2006, India joined the global trend of privatization in airport infrastructure, by privatizing two State owned airports in New Delhi and Mumbai. Though the first privately owned international airport started operations in 1999 in Kochi (Cochin),1 two other privately owned airports were operationalized in Bangalore and Hyderabad only in 2008.
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