Five more airports to levy development fee on passengers

March 5th, 2009 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) The international airports at Chennai, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Goa and Ahmedabad will soon get the government’s nod to levy development fee on passengers to raise funds for their expansion, an Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said Thursday.
“We are doing this to bridge the capital funding gap. We would also allow other airports, which are being upgraded, to levy additional charges from passengers,” the official, who did not want to be identified, told IANS.

The AAI, which is developing these airports, has approached Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel for immediate approval, he added.

The minister, after inaugurating a departure terminal at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here last week, had said other airports being upgraded by the AAI would also be allowed to levy development fees.

About 20 more airports, including those at Kolkata and Chennai, are being upgraded by the AAI on an investment of Rs.120 billion (Rs.12,000 crore).

Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the developer of the IGI Airport, has started charging Rs.200 from domestic passengers and Rs.1,300 from international travellers as development fee from March 1.

On the other hand, GVK-consortium, the developers for Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Mumbai, will levy Rs.100 per trip on domestic passengers and Rs.600 on passengers flying abroad from April 1.

Domestic passengers already pay Rs.375 and Rs.260 to fly out of the greenfield airports at Hyderabad and Bangalore, respectively, while international passengers at these airports are charged Rs.1,000.

Calling it a pre-development fee, world’s biggest travel lobby, International Air Transport Association (IATA), has criticised India for imposing such charges and said it was against the interest of passengers.

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