The decision to push back the levy has been taken as the new terminal building is not yet being used by the airlines operating from the city.

In a relief to flyers from Chennai, the imposition of user development fee (UDF) has been pushed back to April 1 even as airport authorities are hopeful that the new terminal will start operations on March 20.

Earlier, a fee of Rs 166 on every passenger catching a domestic flight and Rs 667 on a passenger boarding an international flight was to be levied from March 1, 2013.

Passengers objected to it

Despite the terminal not being commissioned, the AAI started collecting the fee from March 10 stating that the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) had notified the collection. However, the passenger community objected on how the fee could be collected when the facility was not yet ready.

For two to three days, there was commotion in the airport with some of the airlines asking the passengers, who had waited long in the queue to collect their boarding passes, to first pay the fee.

D. Sudhakara Reddy, National President, Air Passengers’ Association of India, said “How can they charge the fee when the facility is not yet ready. It is like going to a hotel and paying for the food that was not served. There was no logic in collecting the fee.”

New terminal

The decision to push back the levy has been taken as the new terminal building is not yet being used by the airlines operating from the city.

“The AAI , which has undertaken the modernisation of the airport, is hopeful of all airlines shifting to the new building by March 20. Even if the airlines shift their operations by March 20, the UDF levy will only be from April 1,” a senior AAI official said.

AERA allowed AAI to levy UDF to offset the expenses it incurred for modernising the airport terminal.

However, the levy of UDF came at a time when the commissioning of the new terminals was deferred again as the baggage ramps have not been cleared for use.

The new terminal building was inaugurated by the Vice-President on January 31.

Meanwhile, on Thursday a meeting was held among all the stakeholders to discuss the various issues, including that of the ramp, pertaining to the terminal.

ashwini.phadnis@thehindu.co.in

raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
XThese are links to The Hindu Business Line suggested by Outbrain, which may or may not be relevant to the other content on this page. You can read Outbrain's privacy and cookie policy here.