Domestic and international air travel from Chennai will become more expensive from March 1.

This follows the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) approving the levy of Rs 166 as user development fee (UDF) on each passenger taking a domestic flight and Rs 667 for boarding an international flight.

The UDF charges have been approved till March 31, 2016. UDF is charged for development of an airport to international standards. The newly modernised Chennai airport was inaugurated by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on January 31. Chennai International Airport is one of the 11 that are under the management and ownership of Airports Authority of India and received 12.93 million passengers in 2011-12.

The actual financial burden on flyers from Chennai could, however, be higher as AERA has also approved a hike in other airport charges, including progressively increasing the fuel throughput charges at Chennai International Airport.

From March 1, airlines will pay a fuel throughput charge of Rs 1,532.82 a kilolitre that will rise to Rs 1,689.93 from April 1, next year. Fuel throughput relates to a cost-based fee that incorporates facility charges that airlines pay for refuelling at an airport.

In addition, AERA has also approved a hike in the landing, parking and housing charges for each aircraft in Chennai. It is not yet clear whether airlines will absorb these costs or pass on some to passengers.

(This article was published on February 4, 2013)
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