Flying out of Kolkata airport may become more expensive soon. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has suggested increasing the airport’s aeronautical rates until March 31, 2026.
According to the AERA report, AAI plans to raise aeronautical rates by increasing the landing fee, aircraft parking fee, aerobridge charges, and user development fee. While user development fee is paid directly by passengers, an increase in other fees will be borne by airlines, which would pass the cost on to passengers in the shape of higher ticket rates.
By April 2025, AAI plans to increase Kolkata airport's user development fee. It might grow from Rs 583 to Rs 1,895 for per domestic passenger and Rs 1,402 to Rs 4,560 per international passenger. The proposal to increase user development fee of Kolkata airport has been filed with the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA). AERA will take the decision on the proposal after hearing from all stakeholders.
Domestic user development fee will be Rs 735 per embarking passenger, and international user development fee will be Rs 1,766 per embarking passenger with effect from October 1, 2022, with a 26% increase on April 1, 2023, and thereafter a 27% increase on April 1 of every fiscal up to FY 2025-26, according to AERA report.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the aviation industry, with all parties, including airlines, airline crew members, airport operators and ground service providers, fighting to stay afloat due to a dramatic drop in the aviation business. However, all major Indian airports suffered congestion challenges and the need to expand capacity before the COVID-19 era, AERA has been balancing the contradictory demands of airport operators to raise rates in the face of airlines’ cash shortages.
Kolkata airport plans to expand its amenities
Domestic travel at Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport could return to pre-Covid levels by March 2024, while recovery of international traffic could take longer. By FY 2024-25, AAI estimates the capacity of the Kolkata airport’s terminal building to be fully utilised. As a result, AAI wants to invest Rs 123 crore in CAPEX to expand the capacity of the present terminal building through several measures.
AAI proposes increasing the airport’s departure security hold capacity, building an international immigration and security check coupled with a security hold area, and constructing a new security hold area with four bus boarding gates, among other actions.