Flying out of Mumbai to cost more, still less than Delhi (Lead)

February 27th, 2009 - 4:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) The government Friday approved the levying of a development fee on passengers flying out of Mumbai airport, who will have to pay Rs.100 per trip for domestic flights and Rs.600 for flights abroad.
The approval comes after a Feb 9 decision for passengers flying out of Delhi. The GMR-led consortium that is developing Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) will get the extra amount - Rs.200 for domestic passengers and Rs.1,300 for international travellers - for three years from March 1.

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

In the case of the developers of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, the GVK-led consortium, the development fee levy comes into effect from April 1 for a period of four years, an official statement said.

However, as in the case with the developers of Delhi airport, the government or the designated regulatory authority will review the development fee after six months, Friday’s statement added.

“The amount collected through the development fee would under no circumstances exceed the ceiling of Rs.1,543 crore (Rs.15.43 billion) and in case of any cost escalation beyond Rs.9,802 crore (Rs.98.02 billion),” it said.

“The amount representing the escalation would have to be brought in by Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) through other sources. The ceiling amount would be exclusive of taxes, if any,” the statement added.

MIAL had prepared a master plan for developing the Mumbai airport in 2006 and tied up requisite resources of Rs.5,826 crore (Rs.58.26 billion).

“But considering the increasing needs of Mumbai metropolitan region and to create adequate terminal and airside capacity, the master plan was revised in November 2007. The revised Master Plan is being implemented at an estimated cost of Rs.9,802 crore (98.02 billion),” the statement stated.

The government decision came after MIAL said it would not be able to raise the requisite funds, that the lenders had refused to extend any further debt, and that shareholders were not in a position to take additional equity exposure beyond the committed Rs.1,200 crore (Rs. 12 billion).

Officials said the additional fee permitted for the Delhi and Mumbai airport developers is temporary and aimed at bridging the capital funding gap.

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