Civil aviation industry’s apex body IATA has opposed the GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHAIL) plan for a 100 per cent increase in international aircraft landing fee.
The move will hurt airline operations, IATA has said, requesting the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) to relook the proposal.
IATA expressed the views at the recent stakeholder consultation meeting held by the AERA with regard to the determination of aeronautical tariffs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad.
IATA Assistant Director Malvyn Tan, while expressing the body’s views on the issue, said airport charges should be in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) principles.
He said it does not make sense to have different tariff structures for international and domestic airlines, as the same aircraft type originating from either a domestic or an international source will utilise the same resources.
GMR currently charges Rs. 250.50 per ton and Rs. 187.90 per ton for international and non-international aircrafts up to 100 tons respectively as landing charges. A surcharge of Rs. 336.60 per ton (international) and Rs. 252.50 per ton (non-international) is levied if the flights exceed the weight limit. It also collects Rs. 4.10 per hour per ton as parking charges for aircrafts up to 100 tons, and levies Rs. 5.40 per hour per ton for exceeding the weight limit.
An aircraft with a maximum certified seat capacity of less than 80 — as certified by the DGCA — which is operated by a domestic scheduled operator is exempt from landing charges payment.
Mr. Tan said that in view of the margin for all airlines being under pressure, a 100 per cent increase in the international landing fee will have an impact on their operations. “It should have been kept unchanged, especially since any increase in the landing fee will not result in a reduction of the User Development Fee (UDF),” he added. The official has requested AERA for two weeks’ time for submitting IATA’s details on the issue.
An Emirates representative said the airline will support single till as per authority for tariff determination. However, he added that it is not the time for a 100 per cent increase in landing charges, as the industry is facing volatile times.
Singapore Airlines, while endorsing the views of IATA, stated that any increase in landing tariffs will have a negative impact on airline operations. Air India voiced a similar opinion as well.
Yashwant S Bhave, AERA Chairperson, in response to the opinions expressed by the airlines and the IATA, said the proposed increase in the landing charges appears to be high as there has been no increase since 2001 — except for a ten per cent hike in 2009.
“The aeronautical tariff and revenue basket has different components like landing, parking, housing charges, and the UDF. The authority has attempted to keep a balance amongst these different components,” he remarked.
AERA will accept comments and suggestions on the consultation paper up to July 22, 2013.