New Delhi, Feb 26 : Over 18,000 members of the Airports Authority Employees Union (AAEU) have agreed to defer their decision to strike work till March 10 following assurances by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and senior ministry officials that their demands will be addressed. The Ministry said it would take a deeper look into matters like the proposed closure of the Bangalore and Hyderabad greenfield airports. AEU General Secretary M K Ghosal said, "Considering the problems faced by passengers and to give some time to the officials for a discussion, we have deferred our agitation till March 10. The existence of the AAI is under threat.
If the government allows the AAI to have a level-playing field, we can have greenfield airports. The delay in awarding the AAI mini-ratna status is also a bone of contention. The employees are also demanding that the government should hand over non-metro airports to the AAI to manage."
The AAEU alleged that the government has also granted terminal handling of cargo to the private parties, sidelining AAI employees to carry out these functions except in restricted areas.