Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No change in BIA user fee till next year

No change in BIA user fee till next year

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 19 May 2010 03:41:00 AM IST
BANGALORE: The ad-hoc user development fee (UDF) of Rs 260, which is levied on domestic passengers at the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), will not be revised till next year.
The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) — entrusted with fixing the UDF in greenfield airports like BIA — has said that the additional fees are still being reviewed.
AERA chairperson Yashwant S Bhave told Express that revising the UDF, reducing it from Rs 260 at BIA, or even scrapping it was under review and that a decision would be taken in future.
“The government has fixed the UDF for three years. As of now, the airport operators are collecting that amount for domestic passengers departing from BIA. There will certainly be a review, but only after the current one expires,” said Bhave.
The AERA review will be done based on the audited project cost report, which is submitted by the operators of the airport to the regulator.
The current ad-hoc UDF was fixed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in December 2008 before AERA became the authorised regulator.
The Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), the promoters of the airport, had proposed the collection of Rs 675 for domestic passengers, stating that the fee collection from domestic passengers would be utilised for the development, management, maintenance and operation of the airport.
The newly-constituted BIAL board had recently given the nod for the expansion of the terminal at the airport at a cost of Rs 600 crore and it had also been pitching for the UDF to be revised, stating that the UDF charged by it on domestic passengers was the lowest in the country.
BIAL said on Tuesday that the UDF was ad-hoc and would be reviewed. It maintained that it was unaware that the UDF was fixed for a period of three years by the government.
“It has been more than two years since we started collecting the ad-hoc UDF and we are hoping for a review soon,” said spokesperson of the airport.
BIAL collects Rs 1,070 from international passengers as UDF.


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