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File photo of Mr. K.C. Venugopal.

Government announces incentives for flights to smaller airports

India’s junior minister for civil aviation K.C. Venugopal today informed the Lok Sabha about incentives being offered to encourage operation of flights to airports which are of low density or do not have current flight operations.

  • No landing charges levied on aircraft with maximum certified capacity of below 80 seats being operated by domestic scheduled airlines and helicopters of all types for operation at AAI (Airports Authority of India) airports except at Chennai and Kolkata airports;
  • Landing and parking charges at all airports in the North-East Region, Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep (other than defence airports) reduced by 25% of the current rates for domestic scheduled airlines
  • Night parking charges between 22:00 hand 06:00 hours kept at 50% of the existing parking charges at all AAI airports except at Chennai and Kolkata airports;

In an effort to force state governments to reduce VAT on aviation fuel, the minister announced the waiver of night parking charges for aircraft of domestic operators at airports located in States where the State Government levies VAT on ATF at 5% or below. However there is no clarity whether this is limited to AAI i.e. government owned and run airports or all airports including the six major airports of India of which four are run by private-public partnership consortiums

The minister also stated if an existing airline plans a new flight to connect new stations at airports located in tier-II and tier-III cities from tier-I city and vice-versa or in between two or more tier-II and tier-III cities, then that flight will be given given priority over other airlines for allocation of slots as per the slot allocation guidelines.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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