Air passengers could end up paying for the two metro stations inside the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). Here’s why: The country’s two busiest airports at Delhi and Mumbai have taken the User Development Fee (UDF) route to finance part of the Metro links, and KIA could follow suit.
The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has already agreed in principle, to finance the two stations within the KIA premises.
Independent analysts have estimated that the project could cost BIAL about Rs 1,000 crore.
How costly will the UDF be then? The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) is scheduled to fix the rate after a consultation process that could begin next month.
BIAL had submitted its tariff proposal to AERA for the control period (April 1, 2016 to March 31, 201) in March 2016. This was further revised in April 2017.
BIAL had proposed that a capital expenditure of Rs. 11,000 crore would be incurred on the second terminal building, second runway and other infrastructure projects now underway at KIA.
Sources said the additional expenditure on the two metro stations is likely to be added to the cost for UDF calculation.
AERA has assigned the work for analysis of capital expenditure to RITES to justify the resonability of the cost.
The report is awaited. It is likely to be received in October 2017, after which the consultation paper on UDF will be issued, AERA said in a RTI response.
In April, 2015, the Centre had allowed the Mumbai International Airport Limited to levy a Development Fee from air passengers to finance two metro stations on the line to the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport.
The total cost of the Metro projects was Rs 518 crore.
AERA had proposed a fee of Rs 15 for domestic passenger and Rs 75 for International Passenger.
Responding to the Authority’s consultation paper, urban mobility analyst Sanjeev Dyammanavar had questioned the rationale behind the Fee when the Airport Metro is not exclusively used by air passengers.
The airport’s ground support staff, security, house keeping staff, cargo handling staff, maintenance staff and visitors will all use the Metro. Dyamannavar had requested AERA not to mix up Metro cost with UDF, which had a different purpose.
In KIA’s case, the additional Metro cost will further inflate UDF.
It should be less than before, considering the airport’s huge growth in passenger numbers.