Flying from Chennai airport to be costly

Chennai, Feb 9 (TruthDive) : Domestic flyers will have to shell out Rs 166 more and international fliers Rs 667 from March 1 if they are flying out from Chennai airport. Cargo from this airport too will be costly as parking charges have been increased.

Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) has fixed this tariff for Chennai that approved a levy of User Development Fee (UDF).

According to statistics, Chennai domestic airport will net Rs 40 lakh and Rs 146 crore for a year. Around 12000 in the international sector, out of 12,238 passengers travelling from Chennai airport, revenue is estimated to be at least Rs 81 lakh per day and Rs 300 crore per year.

Apart from imposing user development fee that will increase the ticket charges, Airport Authority of India increased landing and parking fees for aircraft which the airlines will pass on to the passengers to those who booked cargo. These rates will come in to effect from March 1 for embarking passengers and those who have booked their tickets before March 1 will have to pay the extra amount at the airport while checking in.

AAI has put different rates for various types of aircrafts. For the first one parking charges will be free after that Rs 10,000 for every hour. Airbus A-320 will be charged Rs 40,000 for landing and Rs 7000 for parking for one hour, a Bombardier Q-400 will not pay for landing and parking charging will be paying Rs 3,000 per hour.

AAI-owned Chennai International Airport is among the 11 international airports which received 12.93 million passenger in 2011-12.

Any international airport that has passenger traffic exceeding 1.5 million annually is categorized as major airport and Chennai Airport falls in this category due to which tariff and other charges are fixed by the Authority.

AERA termed the increase to recover its cost of building the new terminals, which was inaugurated on January 31 by the Vice President of India. Rs 2,015 crore approved by Ministry of Civil Aviation was for the modernisation and expansion of domestic and international terminal buildings, construction of a bridge on the Adyar river, Rs 311.71 crores was proposed towards reconstruction of Taxiways and Rs 536 crore was for cargo facility up-gradation.

Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) said that the rationale for levying UDF on embarking domestic and international passengers respectively and increase of 118% in international landing charges and 83% in parking & housing charges and of service tax will in effect be higher.

Lufthansa and other cargo carriers cargo handling rates increased in the last 10 years by 66% and the rental increase has been 78%. The airlines said instead of increasing fees it would be to right to create more facility for cargo flights to function. The stakeholders have further stated it would have to shift to regional airports since already aviation sector is going through losses.

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