New Delhi: In a move that would soon raise air travel costs from the IGI Airport here, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) Wednesday decided to raise landing, parking and other charges by a whopping 346 percent for two years.
In its latest order, AERA also fixed higher rates of user development fees (UDF) for both incoming and outgoing domestic and international passengers this year, with the rates going up further from April next year.
The order covers the charges to be levied on airlines and other airport users for uplift of fuel and using the Common User Terminals or CUTE.
The hike in airport charges for 2012-13, which would be effective from May 15, is however less than half of the 774 percent hike sought by GMR-led joint venture Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL). The rates for 2013-14 will be applicable from April one 2013, the AERA order said.
It said that the 345.92 percent hike would be "on a one time basis during the Control Period" between 2012-14.
The AERA has now included incoming air travellers also in the ambit of UDF. The rates applicable for 2012-13 would go up considerably in 2013-14, the order shows.
While outgoing passengers have so far been paying UDF of Rs 200 for domestic and Rs 1,300 for international travel, industry sources said the increased airport levies would also be onpassed by the airlines to the fliers, raising prices of tickets further.
As per the order, the UDF for international travel would be Rs 845.50 for outgoing passengers travelling between 2,000 -5,000 kms and Rs 699.17 for incoming ones. For those travelling beyond 5,000 kms, the UDF would be Rs 1,068 for outgoing and Rs 881.10 for incoming.
Similarly for domestic travel, a passenger flying up to 500 kms would pay Rs 231.40 and an incoming one Rs 195.80. Outgoing travellers flying more than 500 kms would pay Rs 462.80 and an incoming passenger Rs 391.60.
Effective April 2013, the UDF for international travel would rise to Rs 895.26 for 2,000-5,000 kms for outgoing passengers and Rs 741.16 for arriving ones. For those flying over 5,000 kms, it would be Rs 1,130.85 for outgoing and Rs 932?95 for incoming passengers.
In the domestic sector, an outgoing traveller flying less than 500 kms would pay UDF of Rs 245.02 and an incoming one Rs 207.32. The outgoing and incoming flier, travelling more than 500 kms, would respectively pay Rs 490.04 and Rs 414.65, as per the order.
Levy of the fee was suspended last June by the Delhi High Court, which had asked AERA to make recommendations in the matter. Following this, the government had notified the UDF of Rs 200 and Rs 1,300 for domestic and international outgoing passengers to enable DIAL bridge a funding gap of Rs 1931.27 crore.
While DIAL had sought a 774 percent hike in airport charges, the Civil Aviation Ministry had also recommended a higher return 18-20 percent on equity to help the loss-making GMR-led DIAL shore up revenues faster.
DIAL, which had reported a loss of 450 crore in 2010-11, expects to lose 995 crore during the current fiscal. It had proposed 24 percent return on equity.
The private operator had argued that foreign partners in the consortium -- Malaysia Airport and Fraport -- expected a minimum return of 20 percent on their equity, given the high risk in the sector.
While fixing the increased rates of airport tariff, the AERA also decided to closely monitor the performance standards as laid down in the Operations, Maintenance and Development Agreement (OMDA), signed between the Airports Authority of India and the GMR for the IGI Airport in April 2006.