I got this by email and forwarded it to my friends. Chirag has written an interesting reply. You can read his views below: –

Dear Friends,

Please keep an extra 600 Rs with you when  you travel from 1st April at Mumbai Airport . Please forward to all your relatives & friends so that they dont face any problems at the airport….

Passengers to pay for Mumbai airport modernisation 

Mumbai airport on Friday became the fourth airport in the country to be allowed to levy a development fee from passengers to bridge the shortfall in funds for modernising the facility.

The government approved collection of Rs 100 from outbound domestic passengers and Rs 600 from international passengers from April 1. The fee would be in force for four years, but be reviewed after six months.

The Mumbai airport modernisation project cost is pegged at Rs 9,802 crore and the Mumbai International Airport Ltd has been allowed to raise up to Rs 1,543 crore through the development fee. However, if the project cost escalates beyond Rs 9,802 crore, MIAL would have to tap other fund sources.

New airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore have been charging a development and DIAL, which manages the New Delhi airport, too was allowed to charge the development fee, although the move has come in for criticism from global airlines’ body IATA.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had yester on Thursday said such fees could be imposed even at airports being modernised by the state-owned Airports Authority of India. The massive aviation infrastructure required in India “cannot be made on such a scale without the contribution from passengers and other stakeholders, ” he had said. – PTI

Chirag’s views: – 

Well the way I think about it is…

You have an air ticket. You’re leaving the country, say you’re going back to the UK.

You’ve spent all your local currency. You have no cash. You have an air ticket/boarding pass. How are they going to take the money off you?

And if you don’t pay, what can they do, stop you leaving  the country? I think not cos they’d have nowhere to keep you.

The only way they can implement this is if they add it to the airport tax they charge the airlines. That way when you buy your air ticket, they get their cut.

It’s absurd cos airport taxes, as well as covering the cost of processing you through the airport, should also cover the cost of any repairs etc. So this “cost” should already be built into airport taxes. So it’s like they’re trying to charge double for something cos they’re actually squandering the money away elsewhere or they just underpriced the airport tax to start with.

Either way, I think it’s utterly ridiculous that they can expect people to cough up money as they’re leaving the country. I’d personally never go back.

What about you? Would you go back?

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2 Comments

Sagar Shah · May 11, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I think its perfectly acceptable to charge a levy for development of an airport – we do this everytime we fly out of a british airport through taxes.

Even though non-flying citizens may benefit from having a functioning airport, I tihnk its much better that those that those flying it pay it rather than through taxes on general population.

Its a bit weird to make a 600rupee toll rather than it going directly through flightbookings – and seems like it mihgt be able to be extracted by corrupt officials quite easily.

A bit of a weird strategy in my opinion.

    Heena Modi · May 19, 2009 at 11:18 am

    All fair points.
    You’r right, it is a bit strange and it’s defintely not fair for those who don’ fly to pay for it through taxes on the general poplation.
    Should we write to our MPs at http://www.writetothem.com/ ?

Comments are closed.