Yashwant S Bhave on Saturday took over as the first chairperson of the newly constituted Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), a watchdog that will look at issues such as the tariff for various ground operations and landing fees for airlines.
Bhave, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, has held different positions in the government of Maharashtra such as chief executive of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation and managing director of Small Scale Industries Development Corporation.
He has also served in the department of administrative reforms, pensions and public grievances as well as special secretary (telecom) and secretary (Telecom Commission).
Bhave's appointment comes at a time when private airline operators have threatened not to fly on Aug 18 if the government fails to announce a bailout package to help them tide over the economic crisis which they claim has escalated their collective losses to over $2 billion.
"An immediate challenge to AERA is that it will have to ensure that the airport charges are calibrated so as not to unnecessarily burden the airlines and passengers and at the same time are remunerative enough for airport operators," an official statement announcing Bhave's appointment said.
The regulator is likely to start work in the next few months.
The regulatory authority, set up in 2008, will also redress issues like fixation of development fees and passengers service fees.