Efforts of the Bengaluru International Airport operator to increase the user development fee (UDF) at the airport have been red-flagged by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) even as sources in Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) insist that it was not the final decision on the issue.

In a consultation paper issued last week seeking the views of the stakeholders, AERA turned down BIAL’s proposal to increase the UDF by 238 per cent for domestic and 79 per cent for international departures. The airport currently charges Rs. 231.40 and Rs. 952.30 for domestic and international departing passengers, respectively.

BIAL originally proposed the domestic UDF under single-till to be Rs. 783.09 and the international UDF to be Rs. 1,700 with effect from May 1, 2013. In the dual-till model, it proposed Rs. 1,729 for domestic and Rs. 1,700 for international passengers.

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.

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

In the single-till model, the government gets a fixed percentage share of revenue from both commercial and non-commercial operations. In the dual-till model, government gets only a small percentage share in revenue on commercial side and a fixed share from aeronautical operations that fall in the non-commercial side. The percentage share for govt is less in dual-till because it considers investments and future expansion plan of the airport operator.

Parking fee

On BIAL’s proposal to levy parking fee on all kinds of aircrafts, AERA said, “The authority also notes that BIAL has proposed a minimum charge of Rs. 5,000 for landing of all aircrafts. The authority notes that there is a circular of [Ministry of Civil Aviation] that no charges may be levied for aircrafts below 80 seats. Hence, the authority proposes not to consider a charge for ATRs. If there is a change in MoCA’s instruction in this regard, the authority is open to considering a charge for ATRs.”

To respond

Meanwhile, the GVK group that holds 43 per cent stake in BIAL is expected to file its response before the authority by the end of this month. Responding to reports that the AERA has shot down its proposal, a source in BIAL told The Hindu on Wednesday that the consultation has been a long affair and the airport operator has been communicating with the regulator ever since AERA came into existence.

Further, the BIAL source said that various permutations and combinations have been worked out keeping in view the expansion plan and other expenditures. “The current UDF that is being charged at BIA is an ad hoc fee as AERA was not in existence when the airport became operational.”

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