Development of Mumbai airport’s could hit an air pocket if airlines fail to clear dues of Rs 180 crore owed to the airport operator.
The dues are in lieu of various services offered by the operator.
Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), the GVK-led private consortium modernising the city airport, raised this concern in a meeting with senior civil aviation ministry officials last week, sources said.
Until December 2009, airlines (both domestic and international) owe the airport operator about Rs 180 crore.
“They have raised a concern about a lapse in regular payments by airlines,” said a senior official with civil aviation ministry, adding that the ministry will call for a meeting with airlines to sort the matter.
An MIAL spokesperson said: “I do not wish to comment on the matter.”
With construction on in full swing, the airport operators want to avoid a cash crunch. Construction of a new domestic terminal housing a hotel, four new taxiways and runway repairs have to be completed by April.
Work on a section of the integrated terminal at Sahar is also likely to begin soon to meet its October deadline.
As a result, the airport operator asked airlines for two months deposits of their respective aeronautical bills in November. These charges comprise navigational, parking and landing fees.
It has also asked operators to cough up deposits equal to six months of non-aeronautical billing, that include rents for airline counters and hangars.
Meanwhile, passengers are already paying to fill gaps in the airports kitty.
Last year, the airport introduced a passenger development fee of Rs 100 for domestic
fliers and Rs 600 for international passengers because to meet the deficit of Rs 2,000 crore.
“It is a matter of concern because eventually the burden could be passed on to the
passenger. The ministry should urgently act on it,” said Sudhakar Reddy, national president, Air Passenger Association of India (APAI).