Flying Out Of Bengaluru Will Be Expensive As Airport Hikes User Fee By 120%
From April 16 onwards, flying out of Bengaluru will be costlier by 120%. This move came after the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Of India (AERA) allowed the airport to hike the User Development Fee (UDF) upwards for the next four months.
Why has the fee been increased?
Bengaluru, which sees the highest volume of traffic after Mumbai and Delhi, in India, is all set to use the additional fee to fund and expedite its expansion projects. Bengaluru airport authority in a statement said, “With the Aera order coming into effect from April 16, the UDF for domestic departures will be revised to Rs 306 from Rs 139 while for international departures it will be Rs 1,226 from Rs 558 earlier.”
This translates to a total of 120% and 119% increase in UDF respectively. Reportedly, the revised fee will be applicable for tickets which will be produced and purchased between April 16 and August 15. The hike in the charges will be rolled back from August 16 onwards. The amendment reportedly came after the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), in a recent hearing gave an interim relief which allowed BIAL to hike fees for a limited period of time. As stipulated by the AERA, the money which will be collected due to the incremental hike will be reserved in a separate account and will be used exclusively for infrastructural projects.
BIAL Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hari Marar said, “This incremental increase in charges would provide BIAL much-needed relief as we are in the midst of a massive Rs. 13,000 crore capacity expansion to cater to the stupendous growth of the aviation sector in India.” The Rs 13,000 crore second phase expansion includes the construction of a new terminal, constructing a new runway, access roads, and a multi-modal transport hub. Work for the second phase of expansion project is set to end by March 2021.
The Bengaluru airport is India’s first greenfield project which was built under the public-private partnership consortium of the Central and Karnataka governments, Fairfax and Siemens Projects. The 10-year-old airport handled 27 million passengers in fiscal 2017-18 and an average of 640 passengers and cargo aircraft daily. While Fairfax owns a 54% share, 20% is held by Siemens. The remaining 26% is divided equally by the Karnataka government and the Airports Authority of India.