Our charges least among 50 major airports across the world, says DIAL

Delhi International Airport (DIAL), which runs the Delhi airport, has informed the aviation ministry that its charges are among the lowest in the world.

The GMR group, which owns Delhi Airport, has cited a report by UK-based consultancy firm Leigh Fisher that states DIAL’s charges are the lowest among 50 major airports across the world. 

The study says London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Moscow-SVO and New York JFK are the costliest in the world and Delhi is cheaper than Mumbai Airport, operated by the GVK group. “Based on a study conducted on aeronautical charges in 2018, across 50 global airports by Leign Fisher, DIAL’s charges are the lowest among the airports examined. Airport charges form a relatively small percentage (5-7 per cent) of total costs of private Indian airlines, as evident from their published reports,” DIAL CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar had stated, while writing to civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola in May.

The letter also states that aeronautical charges for DIAL witnessed a significant drop from July 2017, primarily after charges for the new control period kicked in. Charges at Delhi airport are decided by the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), which decided it for a period of five years called the control period. 

“Parking and housing charges have dropped by 71 per cent; landing charges reduced by 58 per cent and 38 per cent in international and domestic category, respectively; Fuel throughput charges dropped by 27 per cent,” Jaipuriar wrote. 

This move by DIAL, the industry feels, is laying the groundwork for demanding hike in aeronautical charges and user development fees for the third control period which has started from April 31 2019, and will be valid for five years, that is March 31, 2024. 

The previous two control periods – 2009-14 and 2014-19 – were caught in controversies with airlines and the airport operator challenging its implementation at legal forums. 

Under the capital investment consultation, the regulatory asset base of the concessionaire is assessed for the upcoming control period. DIAL, a unit of GMR Infrastructure, is expected to build the fourth runaway, taxiways and carry out expansion of terminals between 2019 and 2024. It has submitted its revenue requirement to AERA.  

DIAL’s move comes as it finally begins a massive capital expenditure on an expansion project which includes building the fourth runway, a bigger terminal and an elevated taxiway. The total expenditure is likely to be around Rs 16,000 crore.

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