Monday, June 19, 2017

Ministry may roll back airport charges

New Delhi: Airfares are set to become cheaper as the Civil Aviation Ministry has recommended a rollback of an airport charge increase, across all non-major airports operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which came into effect December last year.

“Civil Aviation Secretary [R.N.Choubey] has written to AAI earlier this month demanding a rollback of hike in airport charges at non-major airports which were notified in December last year,” a senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said, on condition of anonymity.

The Aviation Ministry asked the AAI to take back the increase in aeronautical charges at non-major airports from July this year. In December, airport charges were raised by 10% — a first such hike in eight years. This was followed by a subsequent hike by 5% in airport charges beginning April 1.

The airport charge increase was applicable on non-major airports such as Amritsar, Nagpur, Bagdogra, Surat, Madurai, Vijayawada, Jammu, Varanasi, Vadadora, among others, which handle an annual traffic of less than 15 lakh.

“The rising aviation turbine fuel prices and switching over to Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime will lead to a sudden rise in the airfares. So, the Ministry has asked the AAI to cut airport charges so that airfares do not soar,” another senior Aviation Ministry official said.
09/06/17 Somesh Jha/The Hindu

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