Can’t interfere in AERA decisions: Ajit Singh

New Delhi, April 26: Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Thursday justified the hikedcharges at the Delhi airport, saying they are needed as these had not been raised for the past many years.

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) Wednesday allowed Delhi airport to hike landing-parking charges and introduced a new user development fee (UDF) on departing as well as arriving passengers.

Singh said AERA was a judicial body and the government cannot interfere in its decision to hike the UDF.

“The AERA is a judicial authority, they hike after consulting stakeholders. They had to revise it in 2009. The charge that has been increased they have to recover five years’ tax in two years. That could be one of the reasons for the steep hike. The ministry can’t interfere in it,” he told reporters.

While airlines will now be required to pay 346 percent higher of what they pay now as landing-parking charges, the UDF would range between Rs.195.80 and Rs.1068.

These hikes will come into effect from May 15.