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IATA urges government to defer revised air navigation charges at Indian airports

A SpiceJet passenger aircraft takes off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel international airport in Ahmedabad, India May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Amit Dave

New Delhi: The government has been urged by Global airlines body IATA to defer implementation of revised air navigation charges at various Indian airports saying there was “complete lack” of consultations with stakeholders in this regard.

The charges for airport services as well as those related to air navigation at non-major aerodromes have been revised effective December 16, 2016.

Referring to the increase in Air Navigation Services (ANS) charges at all airports and airport services charges at non-major aerodromes, IATA said it is deeply disappointed by the “complete lack of user consultation and transparency before arriving at this proposal”.

In a recent letter to the Civil Aviation Ministry, IATA said this is particularly surprising given that significant conversations with Airports Authority of India (AAI) had indicated that full and thorough consultation with stakeholders would be undertaken prior to any such changes.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also requested that the “implementation of these increases is deferred indefinitely and that the relevant agencies enter meaningful negotiation with affected stakeholders”.

According to the grouping, fees and charges can only be set realistically through a detailed and structured cost assessment process involving consultation with all affected stakeholders.

“This must be a robust process in order to reach consensus between the service provider and airlines as business partners. IATA believes that at least a four-month notice of revision should be given to airlines and their representative organisations,” the letter said.

IATA, which represents over 265 airlines from across the world, said increases in charges without proper consultation has the potential to rapidly erode competitive advantage an potentially jeopardise growth prospect of tourism industry as well as of wider Indian economy.

Generally, airports serving less than 12 lakh passengers annually are considered as non-major and charges for these aerodromes are fixed by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Most of the non-major aerodromes are owned, managed and operated by government-owned AAI. It levies charges for services, including route and terminal navigational landing fee, as well as parking.

In the letter to Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey, IATA Regional Director (Safety and Flight Operations) for Asia Pacific said that airport and air navigation service charges must be in line with ICAO tenets.

Copies of the letter, dated December 9, have also been sent to AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra and DGCA chief B S Bhullar.
PTI