Plane speak: Airport charges consultation may see DIAL-carriers clash

New Delhi | Published: June 6, 2018 4:23:28 AM

Charges such as user development fee (UDF) — fee levied on arriving and departing domestic passenger — currently stands at Rs 10 and Rs 45 on departing international passengers, respectively, at the Delhi airport.

airport charges, DIAL, landing charges, parking charges, SCThe lower rates were made applicable after July 2017 on the orders of the Supreme Court where the charges fixed for the 2014-19 were challenged by DIAL. (Reuters)

The consultation process to fix the new airport charges that are applicable on carriers for landing and parking as well as user charges on passengers for the next control period, 2019-2024, is likely to witness a tug of war between GMR-led Delhi International Airport (DIAL) on one side, and carriers and consumer groups on the other. This is because DIAL has collected nearly Rs 5,200 crore as excess charges as it continued to collect higher airport charges during much of the 2014-2019 control period when the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority had fixed lower rates. The lower rates were made applicable after July 2017 on the orders of the Supreme Court where the charges fixed for the 2014-19 were challenged by DIAL.

It was subsequently agreed that the excess amount collected by DIAL would be adjusted in the next control period — 2019-24. Therefore logically, the rates for the next control period should be much lower than what it would have otherwise been. But DIAL is seeking a hike in user development fee on the ground that the current tariffs were below the base airport charge set out in the government agreement. As per its calculations, the charges for passengers departing from the Delhi airport, both for domestic as well as international destinations, should be fixed at Rs 77.

Charges such as user development fee (UDF) — fee levied on arriving and departing domestic passenger — currently stands at Rs 10 and Rs 45 on departing international passengers, respectively, at the Delhi airport. There are no charges for arriving passengers, either from domestic destinations or international, since the second control period — 2014-19 came into effect. Similarly, landing and parking charges on aircraft were lowered based on their weight measured in tonnes.

Under the first control period — 2009-14, UDF was at Rs 231-463 on each departing passengers for domestic destinations. It was Rs 196 and Rs 392 on arriving passengers on domestic flights. For international (departing) passengers, charges were Rs 534-1,068 and for arrival, Rs 436-881.

By: Arun Nayal

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