In a relief to private jet owners the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) on Friday stayed Mumbai International Airport Limited's (MIAL) decision to levy hefty penalties on planes parked beyond permissible time limit.
A few months ago, MIAL imposed penalties on private planes which were parked in Mumbai beyond the permissible limit. The penalty was imposed with a view to decongest the airport but sparked off a controversy when airport officials refused to departures until the amount was paid. MIAL's contention was that plane owners use Mumbai airport to park their planes despite it not being their base.
The Business Aircraft Operators Association representing private jet owners and charter companies challenged MIAL's decision before the AERA which ordered status quo be maintained.
The association argued that such penalties or parking charges formed a part of aeronautical tariff and MIAL had not secured AERA's approval for levying it. AERA will take up the matter again next month.
"This has come as a big relief for general aviation. which is already struggling in tough economic conditions," said BAOA President Rohit Kapur. MIAL did not comment on email seeking its comments on AERA decision.
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Narendra Modi had earlier expressed his keenness to provide air connectivity to all Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities in the country