No user development fee for domestic air travellers: Patel
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has asked the private developers of the international airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad not to levy the proposed User Development Fees (UDF) on domestic air travellers.
Though domestic passengers flying out of any of these two new airports would not have to pay a higher charge for tickets, passengers flying overseas from these two airports would need to pay about Rs 1,000-1,100 per ticket over and above the price of the ticket.
Patel said, "The airport developers can, however, charge the fees from international passengers."
The government has capped the UDF for those travelling abroad at $25 per passenger from the Bangalore airport when its starts operation in two months. A consortium led by Siemens Projects Ventures, Larsen & Toubro and Unique Zurich Airport is developing the Bengaluru International Airport. The Airports Authority of India is a 13 per cent stake holder in the airport.
International passengers using Hyderabad's new airport that has been developed by a consortium led by the GMR Group has decided not to levy UDF from domestic travelers.
“Our board has taken a decision not to levy UDF from domestic passengers and we will go by government's advice,” a GMR spokesman said. However, it has decided to charge Rs 1,100 or $28 as user development fee (UDF), including a service tax of 12.36 per cent that would go to the Centre. Patel said the government is working on different models and is hopeful of an agreement with operators of the two airports on the quantum of UDF to be charged from domestic passengers in time.
The Airport Authority of India currently charges Rs 70 per passenger flying from these airports. The operators of the two new airports had earlier proposed Rs 650 per passenger, but it was later capped at Rs 200 per passenger. Patel said the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Bill is expected to be passed by the government in the second half of the budget session.
"I am trying that the Standing Committee gives its report when the Parliament is in recess. And I will persuade the Parliament to give its consent to the Bill," Patel said.