16-Mar-2012 10:19 AM

IATA criticises 'unacceptable' charges at Delhi, notes need for capacity expansion at Mumbai

IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler urged (15-Mar-2012) the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) to intervene in the discussion of "unacceptable" proposed charge increases at Delhi International Airport. While noting that the new terminal and third runway have been a "much needed" capacity boost, Mr Tyler lamented: "[if] the 340% increase in charges over the next two years is implemented, it will make Delhi the most expensive airport in the world—and destroy its competitiveness. Given the broad economic implications that this would have it is important that the government takes immediate action. First, 340% is unacceptable. It would be a shock to the system that would ripple throughout the economy. The Ministry cannot stand by and let this happen. It must intervene with a broader context. This should take into consideration the long-term development of Indian aviation at its hubs. And if need be, the concession contracts, which at Delhi channel 46% of revenues to the Airports Authority of India, need to be re-thought with the aim of offsetting aeronautical charges. The solutions are readily available and there is no reason why the 340%, or any increase of this magnitude, should be allowed to go through". Mr Tyler also highlighted the need for capacity expansion in Mumbai. “Mumbai is bursting at the seams. The first phase was meant to open in 2014 but construction has not even begun. Land acquisition is not yet complete. We need a coordinated effort across all government ministries to facilitate success without further delay—as was achieved for the opening of Delhi’s new terminal", he said. [more - original PR]

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