Logistics

Airports Authority draws up proposals to link up Tier-II cities

Ashwini Phadnis Debabrata Das New Delhi | Updated on March 21, 2011 Published on March 21, 2011






The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is looking at ways to increase connectivity to smaller towns, including waiving night parking charges at Tier-II-city airports.

The proposals could also include a graded-concessional tariff structure for airlines developing routes to Tier-II cities.

After implementation of the proposal, airlines could get concessions up to 75 per cent for the first year of operations for developing routes to these cities, sources said.

Both the proposals are likely to be implemented after getting clearance from the Board during its meeting scheduled to be held shortly.

Regional airline

The Government has also floated a proposal to begin a regional airline service to connect Tier-II cities.

A regional airline is allowed to operate flights from any airport in the four designated regions to any airport in the country. Most of them would, however, be prohibited from operating flights to a metro airport outside their region.

The exception to the rule is in South India, where a regional airline would be allowed to operate among the three metros of Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore.

Requirements

The Government also proposes to ease the requirements for applicants to start a regional airline.

An applicant would now require to have minimum three aircraft within two years and at the end of five years, the airline would be required to operate with five aircraft.

Also the applicant would need to start operations within two years' time of securing the permit.

To tap into the Tier-II aviation market, some airlines such as SpiceJet have announced plans to acquire smaller jets.

It costs Rs 9,000-11,000 to have an aircraft such as Boeing-737 or Airbus A-320 parked overnight at an airport. A fee waiver could be an attractive option for airlines looking to cut costs.

Over the last three years, the Government has given the AAI close to Rs 255 crore for upgrading various Tier-II airports.

Modernisation work at Mangalore, Amritsar, Bhopal, Indore and Varanasi are at different stages of development. The airports are being modernised to enable them to handle more flights and passengers.

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Published on March 21, 2011
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