Multiple stakeholders of the Kempegowda International Airport here collectively made a pitch for a drastic reduction in the User Development Fee (UDF), levied on embarking passengers by the airport operators.
This was a key demand submitted to the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) at a stakeholder consultation meet here on Monday.
AERA had released a consultation paper in May 2018 to determine tariffs at KIA till 2021. The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) had proposed a 74% cut in UDF rates. Monday's meet also discussed landing, parking and housing charges imposed by BIAL on airlines. AERA had proposed a drastic reduction of these rates.
The Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) submitted that the AERA's final order had decided to determine aeronautical tariffs for the next control period based on actual growth during the control period 2011-2016. But BIAL “is currently operating with unchanged tariffsl, even after the completion of the first control period (2011-2016),” it noted.
AERA, through interim orders, had allowed BIAL to continue to levy higher existing tariffs for the past 25 months into the second control period (2016-17 to 2020-21). “Since the current control period began in 2016, we request AERA to direct KIAL to furnish the actual passenger numbers and the air traffic for the FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18,” submitted BPAC.
Citing a “vast variation in the projected to the actual passenger traffic in KIA”, BPAC also wanted AERA to undertake a survey in this financial year to project the passenger numbers for the remaining three years in the current control period.
Relook into Tunnel design
On BIAL's proposal to build a third entry to KIA through an Rs 1,100-crore Eastern Tunnel, BPAC urged AERA to take a relook at the design and cost aspects. It also wanted a master plan to be publicised for the 4,008 acres of land allotted by the state government to BIAL. The phase-wise development had to be made public with a timeline and cost for land utilisation.
Appointment of an independent consumer ombudsman to monitor service quality in KIA and data to be made public were other key demands.
State government representatives sought AERA's support in building Metro connectivity to the airport. BIAL informed that the second terminal will be ready by March 2021.