Delhi International Airport’s collection from ‘excess charges’ could rise to Rs, 9,447 cr

By: | Updated: January 19, 2017 7:10 AM

With Delhi International Airport (DIAL) having already collected approximately of R7,257 crore from airport charges in under three years, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (Aera) fears “excess” collections could hit R9,447 crore in another two years unless the charges are revised downwards.

collision-l-aniDIAL has been able to collect the amount of R7,257 crore because the airport charges — for landing, parking and for users — for 2014-2019 have not been revised downwards as directed by Aera in December 2015. (Representative image: ANI)

With Delhi International Airport (DIAL) having already collected approximately of R7,257 crore from airport charges in under three years, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (Aera) fears “excess” collections could hit R9,447 crore in another two years unless the charges are revised downwards.

DIAL has been able to collect the amount of R7,257 crore because the airport charges — for landing, parking and for users — for 2014-2019 have not been revised downwards as directed by Aera in December 2015.

The matter is to be decided by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal (Aeraat) following a directive by the Supreme Court. However, with the Tribunal not having done so thus far, Aera, on November 30, 2016, filed a fresh application in front of the reconstituted bench of Aeraat.

It noted DIAL has been charging aeronautical tariffs at higher rates as per an earlier tariff order. In the period between April 2009 and March, 2014, DIAL collected revenue of R3,499 crore, according to the order document of Aera.

Meanwhile, Air India may also move the Supreme Court and file a special leave petition asking for the Aera order to be implemented immediately, a senior executive in the airline confirmed. He explained Aera was to have taken a decision by August 18, 2016, but the carrier continued to pay the charges which had been raised by 346% for the period 2009-2014. “Aera has ruled for a substantial cut of around 90% from these levels so there is no reason for us to be paying these charges,” a senior official said.

An Aera document placed before the tribunal noted that the target revenue to be recovered by DIAL between 2014 and 2019 is R7709.61 crore. “However from April 1, 2014. till June 30, 2016, the Appellant has already earned revenue of R7257.15 crore (approx), which is about 94.13% of the target revenue for the second control period,” the paper noted.

DIAL at present is collecting approximately R300 crore per month and consequently it would have collected around R17,157 crore by March, 2019 leaving it with an additional collection of R9447.54 crore.

In December, 2015, Aera had ruled for a 93% reduction in the tariff charges at the Delhi airport but the ruling was challenged in the Supreme Court. Subsequently the apex court put a stay of three months asking the matter be judged by the appellate tribunal Aera.

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“The Appellant is recovering monies in excess of the projected revenue thus defeating the whole purpose of fixing the aeronautical tariffs by Respondent No. 1 under the Aera Act,” the Aera application mentions.

The functioning of Aera is another issue that worries airlines as matters keep hanging because there is always a delay on the part of the government in appointing judges each time the incumbents retire.

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