The Indian multinational conglomerate Adani Group has instigated changes in key leadership roles at its airport holding company Adani Airport Holdings Ltd (AAHL) and Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), in a development that will be of interest to many aerospace executive recruiters.

The personnel moves – which Adani Group confirmed just days after it assumed management control of MIAL from the GVK Group – are being made with a view to consolidating and pushing through the transition of India’s second-largest airport into the Adani fold.

What changes are set to be made?

Adani Group has said that it will relocate AAHL’s head office from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. It also confirmed that the chief executive of MIAL, R.K. Jain, will become Adani Airports’ chief executive, as a replacement for incumbent Ben Zandi, who will take over as AAHL’s chief executive, non-aero.

“He [Jain] will be fully involved in shaping [a] scheme for airport slum rehabilitation to take it to [the] implementation stage. He will also be involved in the airport regulatory issues,” the group stated.

MIAL’s chief executive, as well as chief airport officers at Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Jaipur will report to Jain. In turn, Jain will report to the chief executive officer at AAHL, Malay Mahadevia.

Meanwhile, the current president, operations at AAHL – Prakash Tulsiani – will take on Jain’s role as chief executive of MIAL. Director of Adani Ports and SEZ, B.V.J.K. Sharma, has been appointed as Navi Mumabi International Airport Limited (NMIAL)’s chief executive.

Presently heading operations at MIAL is Prabhat Mahapatra, who will occupy the newly created post of head of operations at the Center of Excellence. Manoj Katar, the chief operating officer of Dahej port, was appointed in Mahapatra’s place.

“Collaborative working and agile decision making”

Adani Group commented: “We believe this decision will foster collaborative working and agile decision making, which is of paramount importance at this stage of our journey.”
AAHL became the largest airport operator in India after acquiring a controlling stake in MIAL, which operates the Mumbai airport, earlier in 2021. In terms of passenger traffic, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai is the country’s second biggest.

Adani Group has also won competitive bids to operate airports at cities including Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Lucknow, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru. However, the group is waiting until December to take over airport assets at Guwahati, Jaipur and Thiruvananthapuram, in the wake of economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 crisis.

Is your organisation seeking the expertise and assistance of proven and reputable aerospace executive recruiters? If so, please do not hesitate to enquire to the team at TARCG about our highly professional and responsive aviation recruitment service.


Published inBlog

Phil Washington is set to come under scrutiny from Denver City Council, at the next stage of his candidacy to become the CEO of Denver International Airport in Colorado.
As reported by local newspaper The Denver Post, Mr Washington’s career accomplishments, including in both transportation and the United States military, stand out; however, it has also been noted that he has no prior experience in the aviation sector.

Major responsibility for one of the country’s busiest airports

Denver International Airport, known locally as DIA, is one of the United States’ key aviation hubs, and the largest airport in North America by land area. The role that Mr Washington is bidding to take on is therefore a hugely influential one in the aerospace sector.

Sure enough, Mr Washington brings to his candidacy a prominent national profile from the wider transportation industry, and far-reaching connections – albeit, not from the aviation sector itself.

The newspaper observed that recent airport leaders in Miami and Chicago had come from city administrative or legal backgrounds.

However, both Mr Washington and the man who nominated him, Mayor Michael Hancock, have talked up the relevance of his almost 21-year career in public transportation management in Denver and Los Angeles, including as CEO at the Regional Transportation District (RTD).

A track record that promises much for DIA

Most recently, the 63-year-old served for six years as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or LA Metro’s CEO, finishing his stint there this spring. Before that, he was in the Army for over two decades, before moving on to RTD.

Mr Washington has said that his work experiences have touched on multiple modes of transportation, including public transit and highway improvements, as well as discussions about freight movement and aviation. In 2020, he also led then-President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team for transportation issues.

He commented: “I interacted with the [Federal Aviation Administration] and airports around the country in evaluating the state of the US Department of Transportation.”
The nominee has also referred to his track record in launching large construction projects at both RTD and LA Metro. This is potentially highly relevant experience, given DIA’s ongoing $3.5 billion capital program that has been subject to delays, scale-backs and cost overruns.

He said of the DIA initiatives: “The first thing is we’ve got to move… these projects forward. I think I bring [an outside perspective], along with the ability to engage and understand aviation very quickly.”

If approved by the full council in its vote on 12th July, Mr Washington would replace Kim Day, who will retire on 16th July after 13 years in charge.

To learn more about TARCG’s own well-honed and in-depth executive search expertise and how we could assist your organisation with the fulfilment of its growth objectives in the aviation sector, please enquire today to our professional and experienced team.


Published inBlog
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