AERA warns Indian airport operators against charging unapproved tariffs

  • AERA emphasized that tariffs for services at airports should align with prescribed guidelines.

Anu Sharma
First Published13 Oct 2023
As per AERA classification, major airports are those which handle over 3.5 million passengers annually or as specified by the central government. (File Photo: Bloomberg)
As per AERA classification, major airports are those which handle over 3.5 million passengers annually or as specified by the central government. (File Photo: Bloomberg)

New Delhi: The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) has cautioned airport operators in India against imposing unapproved tariffs on passengers. This order comes after AERA noticed “few airport operators” of major airports levying charges for aeronautical services without getting necessary regulatory consent.

AERA, established in 2008, determines the rates for key airports, overseeing charges such as landing, parking, and ground handling services. 

"It is hereby informed that airport operators are not permitted/entitled to levy and collect unapproved charges/tariff rates, and, airport users/passengers should not pay for it, and if so, this would be a gross violation of the provisions of AERA Act 2008 and the guidelines made thereunder,” an AERA notice dated 13 October said.

As per AERA classification, major airports are those which handle over 3.5 million passengers annually or as specified by the central government.

As per the AERA website, there are 29 major airports including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Cochin, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kannur, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mopa-Goa, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Calicut, Chennai, Coimbatore, Goa, Indore, Kolkata, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Srinagar, Tiruchirappalli, and Shirdi.

Significant airport operators in India include the Airports Authority of India, Adani Group, and GMR group, among others.

AERA emphasized that tariffs for services at these major airports should align with prescribed guidelines. 

“…all airport operators are hereby directed to follow the statutory practice of timely filling multi-year tariff proposal before AERA for seeking necessary regulatory approval of tariff. And refrain from levying any charge on such aeronautical services for which charges have not been approved by AERA,” the regulator added.

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