The new terminals at Chennai airport have not opened but on Sunday, flyers were charged a user development fee (UDF).

Last month, the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) announced its decision to collect UDF from passengers at Chennai airport, starting March 10.

Flyers in the domestic sector will be levied Rs. 166 and those in international will have to shell out Rs. 667, the AERA said.

The levy of UDF comes at a time when the commissioning of the new terminals has been deferred again as the baggage ramps have not been cleared for use.

“Even before opening the new facility, they are charging UDF, which is unfair. Why should we pay so much for using the old airport which lacks so many facilities,” said frequent flyer S. Ram (name changed).

D. Sudhakar Reddy, national president, Air Passengers Association of India (APAI), said, passengers should not have to pay UDF for an airport which does not have essential facilities. “Important services such as multi-level parking and walkalators which had been originally planned were dropped from the project. Also, it may not have the in-line baggage system for a while,” he said.

Airport director H.S. Suresh said the levy of UDF was the decision of the management and had been planned earlier. “We are not sure if the management will stop levying the UDF now,” he said. Meanwhile, an official of Airports Authority of India (AAI) said an inspection was carried out at the new airport on Sunday.

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