Millennium Post

GVK arm tries to hike Bengaluru airport user fee; watchdog strikes

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority has turned down Bengaluru International Airport Ltd's (BIAL) proposal to increase user development fee (UDF) by 239 per cent for domestic and 79 per cent for international departing passengers from the airport.

The regulator, while issuing a consultation paper last week, seeking stakeholders' views on the issue, also said the proposal made by BIAL, a subsidiary of city-based infrastructure major GVK Group, to levy landing charges on all aircraft was not permissible as per the government orders.

Instead, the regulator called for consolations suggesting UDF to be at Rs 262.32 and Rs 1,049.27 for domestic and international passengers, respectively under the single-till model.

However when contacted, a GVK spokesperson said it would be premature for the company to have a response immediately as the discussions on the subject continued to be held.

The AERA also sought views on UDF under dual till model which is at 399.28 and Rs 1,597.14 for domestic and international passengers, respectively for the year 2013-14 with effect from 1 October, 2013.

BIAL has originally proposed the domestic UDF under single-till to be Rs 783.09 (3.4 times higher of the existing rates) and the international UDF to be Rs 1,700 (1.8 times higher than the existing rates with effect from 1 May, 2013.In the dual-till model it proposed Rs 1,729 for domestic and Rs 1,700 for international passengers.

BIAL is currently charging Rs 231.40 and Rs 952.30 for domestic and international departing passengers, respectively.The BIAL also proposed revised different tariff structures for the 2014-15 and 2015-16.

AERA while noting that the BIAL's annual tariff proposals are based on the effective date of implementation on 1 May, 2013, said it is not possible to adhere to this date and therefore, has also calculated the UDF based on the effective date tentatively being 1 October, 2013 saying it needs time to seek stakeholders opinion and analyse.
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