THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) has made a steep increase in user development fee and other charges at Thiruvananthapuram Airport, which would result in a hike in flight tariffs. The user fee for international passengers has gone up from Rs 575 to Rs 950 and for domestic fliers, who were so far spared, will have to pay Rs 450, effective from July 1. There will be a hike of around Rs 40 in the subsequent fiscals, till 2020-21 for international passengers and by Rs 18-19 for domestic travellers. By 2020 March, the user fee for international passengers would become Rs 1,069 and domestic passengers Rs 506.
AERA issued the order revising the user fee as well as other airport charges on June 2. DC had earlier reported this move. While landing charges are also increased, it offers an incentive for airlines operating more domestic flights to improve connectivity. Aviation sector sources said the steep hike might invoke strong objections as the land for the airport development was provided by the state government free of cost. Moreover, there is no user fee at Nedumbassery and Karipur airports. The decision to impose user fee while the new international terminal building was commissioned in 2011 had invited severe criticism. The initial proposal then was around Rs 1,020 for the international and Rs 550 for domestic passengers. But after protests and representation by the state government, it was brought down.