Responding to the debate, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri said there is a lot of misinformation that the government has embarked upon a privatisation drive of airports to benefit a particular party and rejected the charge as "not correct".
DGCA bars A320 Neo planes to Port Blair: Aviation regulator should pay attention to skyrocketing prices of food, beverages at airports, too
Passengers must have a choice of affordable food, especially when they are required to fly at odd hours or spend time at airports to catch connecting flights.
India is moving ahead to put in place some sort of airfare regulation in place. Speaking to Firstpost, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said he will call airline representatives for a meeting within the next two weeks to discuss a mechanism to regulate fares. His emphasis is especially on exorbitant last minute fares which have lead hundreds of Members of Parliament and the general public to protests.
The airport regulator AERA wants to reduce aeronautical charges (levies airlines pay for landing, parking etc) at Delhi airport by a steep 78%. If the Government allows AERA to do this, it is working against itself since it remains a stakeholder in the airport project. But If the Government allows the regulator to maintain aeronautical charges, there could be allegations of hurting airlines' bottomlines.
AERA has proposed a 78.4 percent reduction in airport charges at the Delhi Airport from February 1
The process followed till now by previous governments in awarding airport projects to private developers has been fraught with anomalies.
A draft policy on remote and regional connectivity has also been evolved, which would aim at granting various concessions and incentives to airlines to fly to such areas.
The airports would come up on a public-private partnership model
Raju also focused on tapping the advertisement potential to generate more revenue for the airport and recommended a review of the maintenance and advertisement contracts.
CAG has also severely indicted the government for failing to allocate proportionate financial risks to the concessionaire for Mumbai airport
Airport tariff regulator AERA has fixed Rs 1,368 and Rs 342 per international and domestic passenger as user development fee (UDF) and other charges for Bangalore's Kempegowda airport but the airlines have opposed the "over 100 percent" hike in tariff.
High taxes on the jet fuel, which goes up as high as 40 percent in some states, coupled with higher airport charges in the form of user-development and airport development fees jack up air fares. These have had a negative impact on the passenger demand in the country.
The tribunal also has fixed 4 January as the next date for hearing in the case, a release by the Business Aircraft Operator's Association, the umbrella body of private jet operators, said in Mumbai on Friday.
Even as the airline industry struggles for survival, another existential threat comes in the form of a steep increase in airport charges