Special Correspondent

Exclusive rail line suggested

No user charges for domestic travellers, for now

Car parking charges too same as at Begumpet airport

HYDERABAD: The new airport at Shamshabad, to be thrown open for commercial operations at 00.01 a.m. on March 16, will not levy user development fee (UDF) on domestic travellers for now. However, every international traveller boarding the aircraft from here will have to shell out US $ 25.

Car parking charges too will not be more than what is already there in Begumpet airport and, in fact, parking will be allowed free of cost for the first 15 minutes.

“We will finalise the UDF after due consultations with users and stakeholders. We are sensitive to their concerns,” said Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Chairman and Managing Director of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL).

At a press conference organised as a precursor to the inauguration of the airport by Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance Sonia Gandhi on March 14, Mr. Grandhi hinted at levying different UDF for different domestic destinations after approval from the proposed Aviation Regulatory Authority.

Unveiling an ambitious plan for the airport, he said that Hyderabad would emerge as the hub by offering easy domestic-international transfers, competitive charges to all stakeholders and a world class experience.

The new airport would have 45 parking bays and they would be increased to 56 eventually.

At least 30 aircraft would be parked at nights at the airport initially, and the requests from different airline operators were increasing.

Mr. Grandhi said the charges for landing and parking and passenger service fee would remain the same as in Begumpet airport.

Referring to the connectivity problems, he said that the GMR Group submitted a proposal for connecting the airport with an exclusive railway line.

Begumpet airport, Necklace Road and Secunderabad in that order were identified as the three points of initiation for the new railway line for which the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd conducted a feasibility survey.

Answering a question, he said it would become cumbersome to operate Begumpet Airport and Shamshabad as two teams would have to work round the clock.

A second airport might be feasible only if the annual passenger traffic was more than 35 million whereas in Hyderabad it could only be 8.4 million by 2008-end.