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SC reserves order on airport development fee

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Supreme Court today reserved its order on the dispute over airport development fee (ADF), charged by private airports in Delhi and Mumbai from outgoing domestic and international passengers.

A Bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and Justice A K Patnaik reserved its order on the petition filed by two NGOs challenging ADF charged by Delhi International Airport (DIAL) and Mumbai International Airport (MIAL).

The apex court also granted 10 days to DIAL, MIAL, Airport Authority of India and the Center to file their additional written submissions before it in this matter.

At present, passengers departing from Delhi airport have to pay a fee of Rs 200 for domestic flights and Rs 1,300 for international flights. Fliers departing from Mumbai are charged Rs 100 for domestic and Rs 600 for international flights.

The NGO, Consumer Online Foundation, challenging the ADF contended that the fee was illegal, as it was not approved by Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).

However, this was opposed by the counsel appearing for DIAL, MIAL and the Centre.

According to the NGOs, ADF was fixed by a government notification, but was not approved by AERA. The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India was notified on May 12, 2009 and thereafter, any such levy should have been approved by it, according to the petitioners.

They have further contended that such levy can only be charged by a government body like Airport Authority of India and not private bodies such as DIAL and MIAL that are just managing the airport.

Earlier, Delhi High Court in August 2009 had rejected the petition of the NGO, ruling that private airport developers were free to charge ADF from passengers and that barring it would have damaging consequences for Public Private Partnership Model.

First Published: Thu, November 18 2010. 21:06 IST