In a move that will bring respite to air passengers travelling via Delhi, tariff regulator the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) has proposed a nearly 80 per cent reduction in airport charges at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi.
The proposal made by AERA will bring down landing and parking charges for airlines as well user development fee (UDF) levied on passengers at the Delhi airport. At present both arriving and departing passengers have to pay UDF at IGI.
The fee ranges between Rs 232 and Rs 550 for domestic passengers and Rs 518 and Rs 1,270 for international travellers.
AERA has said that the fresh charges are applicable from February 1, 2015. However, the actual implementation of the proposal can take some time as the airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has to submit fresh rate slabs to the regulator for approval.
Reduction in charges has been welcomed by airlines and stakeholders in the travel industry who said that the reduction in charges would result in lower air fares out of Delhi and thereby enhance traffic. The drop in landing and parking charges would further add to airlines’ bottomline and support the bleeding industry.
In 2012, AERA had allowed Delhi airport to hike aeronautical charges by 346 per cent (DIAL had demanded an increase of 775 per cent) from May 15 2012 making it one of the most expensive airports in the region in terms of cost.
The cost of turnaround of an Airbus 320 size aircraft is about $6,000 at IGI compared to $3,000 at Changi Airport in Singapore and $2,500 at Dubai. Several international airlines have complained against the steep charges at the IGI airport.
AERA in its note has said, “Accordingly the Authority proposes to bring the 78.24 per cent factor into effect in respect of aeronautical tariffs at IGI Airport and expects DIAL to submit the tariff card addressing the same.” The revised charges will be applicable till 31 March 2019.