Pilots need not fly with a huge amount of cash on board anymore to pay the airport charges.
A system to help non-scheduled airlines pay these charges through credit/debit or corporate cards was commissioned on Thursday at Sree Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport here.
Ministry of civil aviation joint secretary G Asok Kumar and executive director (finance) Rajesh Bhandari commissioned the GPRS-enabled electronic data capture terminal (EDCT). GPRS, or general packet radio service, is data service on the 2G and 3G global systems of mobile communications. The airport charges are paid to the Airport Authority of India (AAI).
"Casual operators have been paying airport charges through cash, of which pilots and flight handlers were required to carry a large amount for making payment to the AAI," airport director Suneel Dutt said in his address after the commissioning.
Bhandari spoke on the benefits of the new facility and how it would curtail fake currency. It will also ensure transparency in monetary transactions and prompt realisation to the AAI. The facility was commissioned at the Juhu (Mumbai), Goa, and Visakhapatnam airports in the first phase and will be replicated all over India in due course.