The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) is a statutory body which has the authority to finalise on the tariffs which are levied at airports. On 12 July, a bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha by Hardeep Singh Puri, the Union Civil Aviation Minister. This bill will allow AERA in bidding out any new airport based on a predetermined tariff plan.
Nevertheless, soon after the bill was introduced by the Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jairam Ramesh from the Congress party mentioned that this bill should first be sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. He also added that the introduction of this bill would violate the proceedings of the Parliament.
Previously, the Cabinet has approved the AERA Bill (amendment) during the first tenure of the Modi government in December 2017. Nevertheless, the bill was not passed in the Monsoon Session last year. Hence, the Cabinet has approved the bill once again so that it can be reintroduced in the Parliament and the amendment receives approval.
As of today, the majority of the airports having an annual capacity of handling one-and-a-half million commuters come under the AERA purview. In case the Parliament passes this amendment, the overall dimension of major airports will change to any aerodrome that is meant to have an annual commuter capacity of three-and-a-half million.
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