Government approves amendments to AERA Bill

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New Delhi, Aug 29 : The Government today approved amendments to the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) Bill, 2007.

The AERA Bill seeks to establish an independent regulatory authority comprising a chairperson and two members to be appointed by the Central Government.

The Bill also lays down the powers and functions of the regulatory authority, which will include determining the tariff structure for aeronautical services, amount of development fees in respect of major airports and amount of passenger service fee, and to monitor the performance standards relating to quality, continuity and reliability of service.

The Cabinet also gave its approval for moving official amendments in the AERA Bill as proposed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Bill is now expected to be introduced in the forthcoming Session of the Parliament, and if cleared, it will be notified in three months time.

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on September 5, 2007. It was then referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture for future considration.

The Standing Committee presented its report to Parliament on April 17, 2008 with 15 recommendations, which were examined by the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The main recommendations of the Committee were that the AERA Bill should include 'non-aeronautical services' and that the fuel supply infrastructure at airports should be brought under the AERA's purview.

It also said that the role of AERA should be extended to cover all airports open for operation of commercial flights, irrespective of the size of the airport or ownership.

ANI

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