Three committees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in January discovered the Adani group to be in violation of branding norms, prescribed within the concession agreements, on the airports in Ahmedabad, Mangaluru and Lucknow that the conglomerate took over final 12 months.
Consequently, the Adani group firms – that are working these three airports – have began making modifications in brandings and shows to be able to carry them in accordance with the concession agreements that that they had signed with the AAI.
As on June 29, the modifications in brandings and shows have been in course of at Lucknow and Manglauru airports and had been accomplished on the Ahmedabad airport, the AAI acknowledged.
PTI has accessed varied paperwork associated to this matter, together with particulars obtained in response to RTI queries.
The Adani group gained the bids to run the aforementioned three airports in February 2019. Its firms – Adani Lucknow International Airport Limited (ALIAL), Adani Mangaluru International Airport Limited (AMIAL) and Adani Ahmedabad International Airport Limited (AAIAL) – signed the concession agreements with the AAI in February 2020. These firms then took cost of airports in October and November 2020.
The AAI in December 2020 discovered the brandings and shows on the three airports not in accordance with the concession agreements. Therefore, it wrote letters to ALIAL, AMIAL and AAIAL, asking them to take “corrective measures”.
However, these firms in late December responded that they haven’t violated the branding norms of the agreements.
A month later, the AAI fashioned three separate committees to hold out “joint survey” of all hoardings and shows on the three airports and verify if they’re in compliance with the concession agreements.
Each committee had 4 members: one govt of the Adani group firm that’s working the airport, one official of the Centre-run Engineering Projects (India) Limited and two officers of the AAI.
In late January, the committee fashioned on the Lucknow airport submitted its report. It mentioned, “The joint inspection committee found that airport name hoardings displayed by concessionaire (ALIAL) at the airport entrance and exit roads has also got Adani Airports written on both sides of Lucknow International Airport hoardings, which is in violation of concession agreement no. 5.15.2.”
The committee additionally discovered that the identify and emblem of the AAI was not equally and prominently displayed in different shows the place the concessionaire intends to show its personal identify, which was once more violation of the Article 5.15.2 of the concession settlement.
Clause 5.15.2 of the three concession agreements acknowledged that the airports will likely be recognized, promoted, displayed, marketed and branded by their identify solely similar to “Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport”, “Lucknow International Airport” and “Mangaluru International Airport”.
The clause additionally additionally acknowledged that if the concessionaire intends to show its personal identify or its shareholders on the spots the place different public notices are displayed for the customers, the identical will likely be preceded by the AAI’s identify.
In late January, the committee fashioned on the Mangaluru airport discovered related violations of clause 5.15.2 by the concessionaire (AMIAL), as have been noticed by the Lucknow airport’s committee.
At the identical time, the committee fashioned on the Ahmedabad airport additionally acknowledged that the clause has been violated by the concessionaire (AAIAL) because the AAI’s emblem shouldn’t be displayed earlier than the brand of AAIAL and moreover, the scale shouldn’t be uniform.
“The size of the AAIAL logo with respect to AAI is almost 6:1 ratio,” the committee on Ahmedabad airport added.
Moreover, the committee on Ahmedabad airport discovered that the clause 5.15.1 of the concession settlement has been “totally ignored and violated while displaying the identity of the concessionaire (AAIAL)”.
Clause 5.15.1 of the concession settlement signed between AAIAL and AAI acknowledged: “The airport or any part thereof shall not be branded in any manner to advertise, display or reflect the name or identity of the concessionaire (AAIAL) or its shareholder.”
“Save and except as may be necessary in the normal course of business and always with the name of the Authority (AAI), the concessionaire (AAIAL) undertakes that it shall not, in any manner, use the name or identity of the airport to advertise or display its own identity, brand equity or business interests, including those of its shareholders,” the clause added.
PTI requested the Adani group if it agrees with the findings of those three committees and if it has accomplished altering the shows and brandings on the three airports in order that they’re in accordance with the concession agreements.
In response, an Adani group spokesperson mentioned, “We are proud to partner with the AAI and continue to work together to offer best-in-class airport infrastructure to the passengers, ensuring the most seamless and secure airport experience. The AAI and Adani Airports have mutually agreed for the co-branding at the airports and other related avenues.”
“As per the agreement, logos of both – the authority and the operator – are displayed together in the same size on all the agreed signages and hoardings. Presence of the both strong brands demonstrates the true spirit of Public Private Partnership that aims at improving the passengers” travel experience besides connecting India and the world better,” the spokesperson mentioned in a press release.