Air travellers might have to shell out development fees at major Indian airports. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Thursday that development fees, to be charged from passengers going out of Delhi from March 1 and also in Mumbai in the near future, could be imposed at five other airports being developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI).
“Development fees could be levied even at AAI airports like Kolkata, Chennai, Goa, Ahmedabad and Thiruvananthapuram,” he said after inaugurating the new domestic departure terminal at the Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Domestic passengers would have to pay Rs 200 and International passengers Rs 1,300 at the Delhi airport for the next three years starting March 1. Airport developer Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) was allowed to levy development fee after it reported a cash shortfall of Rs 1,827 crore. The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has also approached the government for approving its plea for levying development fee. A decision on the matter is awaited.
Patel claimed that since airports are being developed at a ‘certain scale’, development fees are essential. He, however, did not give any details about the amount to be charged at other major airports, nor did he mention the period for which those fees would be applicable.
Till now, only those airports being developed and modernised under public-private partnerships have been allowed to levy user development fee (for greenfield airports) or development fee (for brownfield airports). But according to Patel, airports run by the AAI might also be allowed to charge similar fees.