New Delhi: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) developed Ahmedabad and Thiruvananthapuram airports will be able to charge a user development fee (UDF) from next year, with the government providing clearance for the imposition of such a charge.
According to aviation ministry sources, these will be the first AAI-run airports to impose the fee, which is likely to be in the region of Rs300 per passenger. Such fees have so far been imposed only by the greenfield Bangalore and Hyderabad airports, which have been developed under public-private partnership scheme.
Ahmedabad and Thiruvananthapuram are amongst the 35 non-metro airports being developed by the AAI, all of which are eligible to impose such fees. These airports are scheduled to complete their modernisation plans by February/March 2009.
According to government sources, the AAI is spending Rs421 crore on upgrading the Ahmedabad airport, and around Rs138 crore on the modernisation of the Thiruvananthapuram airport.
Overall, AAI will incur an expenditure of Rs12,434 crore on the development of airport infrastructure, in the course of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007 to 2012).
According to government sources, the Kolkata and Chennai airports, being developed by the AAI, may also seek permission to impose the fee. The UDF, sources said, can be levied by any airport which is not getting returns commensurate with the investment that has been pumped into its modernisation.
Both these airports are among the few AAI airports to make an profit last year, mainly due to an increase in air traffic to these destinations.
For 2006-07, Thiruvananthapuram made a marginal profit of Rs23.61 crore, Ahmedabad chipped in with Rs24.96 crore.