Why should air passengers pay for airport infrastructure

Why should air passengers pay for airport infrastructure

Mumbai: Why should air passengers pay for airport infrastructure that he may or may not get to use?
The Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) decision to allow Mumbai and Delhi airports to charge every passenger for future development has thrown up this question many times.
Starting April 1, every domestic passenger flying out of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai will be charged Rs 100 and every international passenger Rs 600 as an airport development fee (ADF). The GMR group-led Delhi International
Airport Ltd (DIAL) is already charging its domestic passengers ADF of Rs 200 and international passengers Rs 1,300 from March 1.
The government is working on a similar fee for 35 state-owned airports that are being modernised. The government feels passengers should contribute to such large development projects.
The global airlines body, International Air Transport Association (IATA), too is opposing the government’s decision.A Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) spokesperson felt the Rs 100 or Rs 600 charge will not be a deterrent for air travellers. An industry observer contradicted this view and said it is not a question of passengers not willing to pay but one of precedent.
The ADF came about when DIAL approached the government to help fill the funding gap of Rs 2,739 crore out of the total Rs 8,975 crore needed for the upgradation of the airport. DIAL has already spent close to Rs 5,000 crore on the upgradation of terminals and the new runway at Delhi airport, which has been completed. The new domestic terminal is expected to be operational by April and the new T3 integrated terminal by 2010.
Delhi airport handled 21.8 million passengers in the April 2008-February 2009 period.
The GVK group-led MIAL is seeing a funding gap of Rs 2,000 crore, which it wants to fund through the ADF.
The Mumbai international airport handled close to 21 million passengers between April 2008 and February 2009, as against 25.8 million passengers in financial year 2007-08.
After the airports are developed, passengers are subjected to user development fees (UDF), too. While ADF is to meet shortfall of capital expenditure, UDF is for using existing infrastructure. GMR, which also runs the new Hyderabad International Airport, already charges domestic passengers a UDF fee of Rs 375 and international passengers Rs 1,000 at the Hyderabad airport. Every domestic passenger at the Bengaluru international airport pays Rs 260 and international ones Rs 1,070 as UDF.

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~ by anand213 on March 18, 2009.

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