Travelers flying from the South Indian city of Chennai will have to pay higher airport fees in 2013.
The Airports Authority of India, which manages Chennai International Airport, has proposed a steep User Development Fee of Rs 667 for international travelers.
Domestic passengers flying out from Chennai airport are not exempt from the User Development Fees either and will have to fork out Rs 165.
If the proposals are approved by India's Airport Economic Regulatory Authority, the new fees will go into effect from January 1, 2013.
Chennai airport currently collects a Passenger Service Fee of Rs 207 (Rs 130 as security fee and Rs 77 as facility fee) from passengers.
Media reports from India suggest that the facility fee will be rolled into the User Development Fee but the security fee will be retained separately.
Other Fee Hikes
As if the high User Development Fees were not bad enough to raise the hackles of passengers, the Airports Authority of India has also proposed a sharp increase in landing, parking and housing charges on the airlines.
It is seeking a 118% increase in international landing fees and 48% jump in domestic landing fees from November.
The Airports Authority of India wants a minimum landing fee of Rs 5,000 for a flight.
In addition, an increase of 83% has been mooted for parking and housing fees on the airlines.
Ultimately, the airlines will pass on any increase in fees to the traveling public.
The Airports Authority of India is justifying the fee hikes by pointing to the construction of new terminals, extension of the second runway, upgradation of cargo facilities and other projects and the necessity to recover the expenses.
While the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority is meeting with passengers, airlines and trade associations on August 30 to discuss the proposed fee hikes, travelers from Chennai should expect to pay higher airfares in the near future.