Monday, March 29, 2021

Flyers out of Mumbai to keep paying development fee for a year more

New Delhi: People flying out of Mumbai must continue paying development fees (DF) — Rs 120 for domestic and Rs 720 for international destinations — till March 31, 2022.

This levy was expected to end this month but has been extended by a year — the situation will be reviewed this December — due to a drastic fall in passenger numbers since the Covid outbreak.

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) had in December 2012 allowed Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) a levy of DF of Rs 100 and Rs 600 per departing domestic and international passenger, respectively, to cover a deficit of Rs 3,845 crore in airport project financing, up to April 30, 2021.

In 2016, MIAL was allowed to charge a levy of Rs 20 and Rs 120 per departing domestic and international passenger, respectively, to finance the metro works to garner Rs 518 crore. Both these levies were merged to a combined DF of Rs 120 and Rs 720 per domestic and international embarking passenger, respectively that was to be charged till March 31, 2021.

After the outbreak of Covid, passenger numbers dropped drastically at all airports, including Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), and the collections went awry.

“… request was received from MIAL for extension of period of levy (in September 2020) due to shortfall in the collection of both the levies…. Airports Authority of India (AAI) confirmed that as on March 31, 2020, Rs 524.6 crore are yet to be collected under project DF, and, a deficit of Rs 102.7 crore is to be collected under metro DF,” AERA says in its order last week.

29/03/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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