Mumbai: Passengers who have booked tickets in advance on flights scheduled from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport after 28 April are entitled to a refund on the airport development fee (ADF), according to a recent Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) notification. The relief arises out of a Supreme Court judgement that barred levying of an airport development fee by the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) on passengers flying out of the city.
Earlier, domestic passengers were paying Rs100 and international passengers were paying Rs600 as additional cess to the airport operator.
While the court ruled that the airport operator MIAL need not refund the ADF to passengers for flights that were operated before the ruling, the DGCA has now asked airline operators to refund this tax to passengers who made advance bookings before 28 April for flights which will operate after that date.
So if a passenger booked a ticket on 20 April for a flight on 2 May, the airline would have to refund the cess amount.
A DGCA official said the refunds will be a massive exercise, and that interested passengers will have to apply to the airlines individually.
Airport operator MIAL has been collecting this additional tax since April 2009 to bridge the shortfall in funding for the expansion project of Mumbai airport. Till 26 April 2011, it had collected around Rs600 crore out of Rs1,513 crore that it had planned to collect over a period of four years since 2009.
MIAL is now awaiting an order from the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) on whether the ADF can be continue to be charged.