You will be surprised at the type of information very valuable and useful to the common man which is held by our Airports.
Just try filing a RTI Application with your local airport about the parking charges for Cars and for different types of Aircraft. You will be shocked to know (at least I was) that to park a Car at Hyderabad Airport (the old one at Begumpet) was more expensive (at least 10 times more expensive) than parking a Airbus A320 or a Boeing 737.
nukebomb, our Government and Bureaucracy and very keen to hide facts from its citizens, sometimes for no reason at all.
RTI Act applies to BIAL: panel
as reported by S. Rajendran The Hindu, Aug 19, 2008
Bangalore: A full Bench of the Karnataka Information Commission on Monday ruled that the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) is substantially financed by the Government and, therefore, “the commission has no hesitation in holding that Bengaluru International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) is a public authority as defined under the RTI Act”.
BIAL, which has turned down requests to reply to various petitions or give information sought by the people relating to the construction and operations of the airport, now has to reply within a stipulated time.
The full Bench comprising State Chief Information Commissioner K.K. Misra and Information Commissioners H.N. Krishna and K.A. Thippeswamy heard at length the matter referred to it by the Karnataka High Court.
A resident of Bangalore, Benson Isaac, in a petition, said that BIAL came under the purview of the RTI Act since it was substantially financed by the Union and State Governments.
In June, BIAL challenged an order of the State Chief Information Commissioner in the Karnataka High Court and the latter directed that a full Bench of the commission hear the matter.
In its reply to the petitioner, BIAL had stated that the provisions of the RTI Act or the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement, Act, 1999 were not applicable to BIAL and that it was not a public authority.
It had also stated that BIAL is a company with equity participation by the private sector to an extent of 74 per cent and therefore the question of furnishing information did not arise.
In its order passed on Monday, the full Bench said the airport serves a public purpose and the people have a right to know about the execution and management of the project.
The commission said the BIA was a public-private partnership project, taken up in the interests of the public, where the financing by the government promoters was much more than by the private promoters.
It would be a negation of fundamental rights if information about the project was not provided to the people, the commission added.
BANGALORE : Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) on Monday said the construction of the second terminal and the second runway would begin next year. The company said the planning process has started but Board approval was pending.
"I'll be happy if we can start the work by July next year. We'll need that much of time to complete the plans and finalize contractors," BIAL CEO Albert Brunner told reporters here to mark 100 days of commercial operations.
Brunner said the terminal - to be constructed to the east of the first terminal - would take four years to complete. It would be at least as big as the first terminal and would cost about Rs 4,000 crore. The first terminal had cost Rs 2,500 crore, but since then costs have gone up substantially.
BIAL has come under severe criticism for building a terminal that's barely able to handle current peak capacity.
BIAL says its annual passenger capacity is 11 million, only slightly higher than Bangalore's passenger traffic of over 10.5 million in 2007-08. AAI has estimated Bengaluru International Airport (BIA)'s capacity lower at 9.78 m.
Brunner admitted that the existing infrastructure would not be able to handle demand beyond another one-and-half years. So he's planning to build an "express terminal" to the western side in about 18 months. This terminal will not have all the facilities of the first terminal. "We hope to continue using it even after the second terminal is ready, perhaps for special purposes like something that requires high security," Brunner said.
Responding to criticism, BIAL has also increased toilet capacity by 70% and has ordered for more seating facilities. Brunner claimed that the baggage handling process has improved a lot.
On the demand for reopening HAL airport, Brunner said BIAL would "fight" it. The concessions agreement with BIAL had laid down that there would be no airport within a 150 km radius of BIA.
But given the capacity constraints at BIA and that the distance to the airport has almost killed short-haul flights, has pushed many to demand a reopening of HAL.
Brunner said the company's revenues were already below expectations because of the fall in traffic on account of the aviation slowdown. The reopening of HAL would only make matters worse. For revenue reasons , Brunner is also hoping the user development fee will come into effect quickly. The matter is awaiting government approval.
BIAL also said it would resist any attempt to bring it within the purview of the Right to Information Act (RTI). "If for every small thing I'm going to be questioned, I will not be able to run this company," Brunner said.
The government's stake in BIAL has persuaded some activists and officials to demand that the company be brought under the RTI.
BIAL has already gone to the Karnataka High Court in this matter.
The High Court asked a full bench of the KIC to hear this matter.
The full bench of KIC has already ruled that BIAL is a Public Authority.
Now where will BIAL go now ?
Mr Brummer should realise that if he works for a Company which has a monopoly in the Airport operation of a city, then he better be answerable to even the smallest thing.
BAA (British Airports Authority), which in turn is owned by a Spanish Company, was recently told by the Competetion Commission in the UK that as a operator of the 7 major Airports in the UK, it should sell off or give up control of at least 3 of them. (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...0150220600.htm)
Justice N K Patil granted a stay for two weeks against the order of the KIC on August 18. The KIC held that the BIAL was a public authority as defined under section 2(H) of the RTI Act, 2005.
The full bench of the KIC had observed that the BIAL was substantially financed by the State Government and served a public purpose. So the public has every right to know about the execution and management of the projects.
The full bench further directed that Bangalore International Airport Limited should appoint an information officer for the benefit of the public.On the other hand, the Bangalore International Airport Limited has contended that that the State government has invested Rs 450 crore for the BIAL, in which Rs 350 crore was borrowed as loan. Of the total Rs 2,470 crore invested for the project, only 17.6 per cent is the State's share.
BIAL stay extended
as reported in Express Buzz, Express New Service 01 Oct 2008
The High Court has extended the stay on the Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) full-bench order, which held that the BIAL comes under the purview of the RTI Act. While extending the stay order, the court has also ordered that the BIAL should be open to furnish information to the public without any prejudice.
On August 18, the BIAL had challenged the KIC order that held that the BIAL was a public authority as defined under section 2 H of the RTI Act,2005. The full bench directed that the BIAL should appoint an information officer for the benefit of the public. The KIC had observed that the BIAL was substantially financed by the state government and hence, the public has every right to know about the execution and management of its projects.
The BIAL had contended that the State government had invested Rs 450 crore for BIAL, of which Rs 350 crore was a loan. Of the total Rs 2,470 crore invested for the project, only 17.6 per cent is the State’s share.
BANGALORE: In a significant judgment, the Karnataka High Court has held that Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) is a public entity and that it has to furnish information sought for under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Justice Ajit Gunjal passed the order on a petition by BIAL challenging an order of the Karnataka Information Commission directing it to furnish information to an applicant.
The commission had on May 14, 2008, said that BIAL is a Public Authority and it would come under the provisions of the RTI Act.
Benson Isaac, a resident of Bangalore, had filed an application under the Act seeking information from BIAL.
BIAL had declined to give information, saying that it is not an authority as defined under the Act and therefore it need not furnish any information. Mr. Issac had then moved the Information Commission.
The KIC said BIAL is a public entity and said it was financed by the State Government too.
BIAL had moved the High Court against the commission ruling.
Justice Ajit Gunjal dismissed the BIAL petition and held that it is a public entity.