Individuals violating regulations at airports will now have to pay higher penalties, with state-owned AAI notifying revised fine amounts. Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said the penalties have been increased as the earlier quantum was not appropriate with the changing times. Now, any person contravening the AAI regulations would face up to Rs 5,000 penalty, a steep hike from the earlier quantum of Rs 500. “… in the case of continuing contravention with an additional fine which may extend to Rs 500 for everyday during which such contravention continues after conviction for the first such contravention,” according to a notification issued by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Under the earlier rules, this amount was just Rs 20 per day.
The revised quantum of fines have been notified by way of amendments to the AAI (Management of Airports) Regulations, 2003. “Earlier provisions were very dated and not keeping in tune with changing times,” Mohapatra told PTI. When asked whether the revision has been effected due to any recent incident involving unruly passengers, he replied in the negative. “This (amendment) has nothing to do with (any) recent incident. This has been under consideration for some time,” he noted.
There have been instances of unruly behaviour at airports. Last month, there was an incident involving TDP MP J C Diwakar Reddy as he got into a verbal spat with IndiGo ground staff at Visakhapatnam airport. He allegedly threw a printer kept at the airline’s counter after he was informed that boarding for his flight to Hyderabad had closed. The AAI manages 125 airports, including 11 international and 81 domestic aerodromes. Besides, it provides Air Traffic Management Services (ATMS) over the Indian air space and adjoining oceanic areas.