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Hike in Mumbai airport charges by private operator challenged

Federation of Indian Airlines and German carrier Lufthansa have challenged an order of airport economic regulator AERA approving hike in various aeronautical charges at Mumbai airport.

The Airport Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal will hear the petitions of Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) and Lufthansa on 18  July.

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) in a 15 January, 2013, order had approved hike in various aeronautical charges such as landing, housing and parking, aerobridge and fuel throughput.

A three-member bench of the tribunal issued notice over condonation of delay to AERA, Airport Authority of India and Ministry of Civil Aviation and Mumbai International Airport Ltd, the private operator of Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport.

‘Issue notice on the application for condonation of delay. Notices are accepted by the counsels appearing for the respective respondents (AERA & others). List the matter on 18 July, 2013,’ said the tribunal headed by its chairman Justice V S Sirpurkar in its order.

The Airport Economic Regulatory Authority, Appellate Authority Rules 2010, grants 30 days time to challenge AERA's order. FIA and Lufthansa have come after that stipulated period, hence the tribunal would first decide over the condonation. AERA, in its order, had also approved a 154 per cent rise in development fee from passengers.

The new tariff had become effective from February this year. The charges would be in effect for a year.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport operator had sought 875 per cent rise in tariff but the regulator has approved a lower tariff hike.


BOEING TEAM ARRIVING TOMORROW TO FIX DREAMLINER BATTERY


A team of engineers from US aerospace giant Boeing is arriving here on Tuesday to reset the batteries of six Dreamliner aircraft of Air India which are grounded since January after battery fire incidents, sources in the national carrier said.

The Government-run airline plans to put back at least two of the six grounded planes into operations by 10 May.

'A team of around 30 engineers is coming to India to reset the batteries of the grounded planes (Boeing-787s) to enable them to fly again,' the sources said on Sunday.

The team, after its arrival, is expected to work on these planes round-the-clock as the airline plans to make all six Dreamliner aircraft operational by May-end, they said.
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