Luxury for CISF staff not at cost of passengers, says Aviation min

Written by Nirbhay Kumar | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 29 2010, 05:34am hrs
The civil aviation ministry has rapped private airport operators including GMR group-led Hyderabad International Airport (HIAL) for violating the stated norms in providing accommodation to security personnel. In a last week meeting with the airport companies, the ministry has asked the operators to comply with home ministry guidelines and resist from providing lavish and luxurious houses to the security staff at the cost of common passengers.

The aviation ministry had recently reviewed the usage of passenger development fee (PSF) collected from flying travelers and found that there were some deviations from its intended use. A civil aviation ministry official said that an airport operator can legitimately claim the cost of accommodation to security staff from PSF.

But if they violate the guidelines related to specifications of a residential unit resulting into additional investment the cost cannot be recovered from the passenger fee, he said.

All the airport operators in the country levy a PSF of Rs 229 on each embarking passenger for providing security and other services at the terminal building. The ministry has found that most of the private airport firms have constructed flats for security staff in violation of guidelines of ministry of home affairs, Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and the ministry of urban development.

There are certain parameters airport companies have to follow while providing accommodation to CISF (Central Industry security Force) personnel. They have not been adhering to the norms. We have asked them to take prior approval from the ministry before building residential units for the security staff, a civil aviation ministry official said.

Citing the case of HIAL the official said the airport operator did not take the necessary approval from the ministry before constructing residential units for the CISF people. Airport operators have to now take prior approval for both the location and type of flat/residential units, the official said.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is also understood to have pin pointed the non-compliance by private airport operators.