Airport fees sans regulator gets flak | india | Hindustan Times
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Airport fees sans regulator gets flak

Even as the government plans to levy ADF at nine more airports on passengers, aviation experts have criticised it for allowing its collection at Delhi and Mumbai airports and a UDF at new airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore without an industry regulator in place.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2009 21:19 IST
Lalatendu Mishra

Even as the government plans to levy Airport Development Fee (ADF) at nine more airports on passengers, aviation experts have criticised it for allowing its collection at Delhi and Mumbai airports and a User Development Fee (UDF) at new airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore without an industry regulator in place.

“The government is not the competent authority to determine the level of fees to be charged. AERA (Airport Economic Regulatory Authority) should have done it,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO, South Asia, at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), a global aviation consultancy.

In a report, CAPA stressed an urgent need to set up a regulator to aid passengers, airport operators, investors and airlines. Since late last year, the government has permitted Hyderabad and Bangalore airports to collect a UDF of Rs 375 and Rs 260 per domestic passenger, respectively, and Rs 1,000 from international passenger to cover operating shortfalls.

Similarly, Delhi and Mumbai airports have been allowed to collect ADF of Rs 200 and Rs 100 respectively, to fund a capital expenditure programme.

The UDF and ADF are in addition to the existing Rs 229 Passenger Service Fee (PSF).

“The way high UDF was allowed to be levied before the elections is a matter of concern,” said Vishwas Udgirkar, executive director at accounting firm Pricewater-houseCoopers.

The bill to help set up AERA was passed in Parliament in late 2008 and the panel was to be selected by February 2009.