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New Delhi: The government yesterday said that it will scrap charging airport development fees (ADF) meant to cover the funding gap for the development of Mumbai and New Delhi airport from January 1, 2013.
Currently, the ADF charges are Rs200 per domestic passenger and Rs1,300 per international passenger at Delhi airport, and Rs100 per domestic passenger and Rs600 per international passenger at Mumbai airport.
These charges are part of an agreement signed between the two private players, who manage the New Delhi and Mumbai airports, and the government for the modernisation of the aeronautical infrastructure at the two cities.
The IGI airport operator, Delhi International Airport Ltd, had submitted the total cost of modernising the IGI airport at Rs12,857 crore against the original cost of Rs8,957 crore it gave to the civil aviation ministry in 2009.
On April 24, the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) allowed an escalation of 345 percent in aeronautical charges which allows the operator to collect Rs200 from departing domestic and Rs1,300 from departing international passengers. The charges became applicable in May.
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, the proposal will be carried out by infusion of fresh funds from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) which is a part owner of the Delhi and Mumbai airport.
“Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has directed AAI to infuse more equity in Mumbai and Delhi airports and accordingly submit its proposals to AERA,” the ministry said in a statement.
However, the proposal comes with a rider that the ADF will stand abolished only if funding gaps are met with equity infusion and raising of loans by the airport operators. If ADF is abolished from January 1, 2013, the finance gap of Rs4,200 crore is expected in case of Mumbai and Rs1,175 crore in case of Delhi airport.
AAI has been directed to infuse additional equity of Rs288 crore in case of Mumbai airport against its 26 percent share in equity of MIAL. “Similarly in case of Delhi to fill the balance in financing gap, AAI will contribute equity share of Rs102 crore,” the statement added. The balance in financing gap of the project will have be met by the airport operator through infusion of their share of equity.
Earlier, the ministry had directed AAI not to levy ADF at the Chennai and Kolkata airports. AAI had submitted proposals to AERA for levying ADF of Rs.300 per embarking domestic passenger and Rs1,000 per embarking international passenger at Chennai and Kolkata airports.
The modernisation and expansion of Kolkata and Chennai airports is currently underway, on expenditure budgets of Rs2,325 crore and Rs2,015 crore respectively. IANS