With AERAAT being defunct, the FIA had filed an appeal in the High Court against an 24th April decision of AERA by which DIAL was allowed to have a 345% hike in its aeronautical tariff for the IGI Airport
New Delhi: The Centre has been ordered by Delhi High Court to revive within a week the defunct Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) that decides aeronautical tariff disputes failing which the plea for stay of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA)'s three-fold hike in airport levy here would be heard, reports PTI.
"It is expected that Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) would have got the recommendation and notify the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal (AERAAT) within a week or so. So that the matters like this do not suffer," said Justice Sunil Gaur after being told that so far, the appellate tribunal has not been constituted.
The three-member appellate panel, AERAAT, which hears appeals against tariff decisions of regulator AERA, is defunct as its initial two-year tenure expired in June this year.
As AERAAT is not functioning, the appeals of the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) and the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), an industry body that represents airlines, against the recent tariff decisions are in limbo.
During hearing, Justice Gaur said, "...it is made clear that in case, today's order (of constituting AERAAT) is not complied with, then the application (of FIA) for stay (on tariff hike) would be heard" and fixed the matter for further hearing on 21st August.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation, represented by Additional Solicitor General Rajiv Mehra, had earlier told the court that it has already started the process to revive AERAAT.
With AERAAT being defunct, the FIA had filed an appeal in the High Court against an 24th April decision of AERA by which DIAL was allowed to have a 345% hike in its aeronautical tariff for the IGI Airport.
Earlier, the FIA counsel had sought a stay on the AERA order saying the exorbitant hike, allowed by it, in the aeronautical tariff has made the IGI Airport the costliest airport in the world.
"The airlines industry, which is going through a bad patch, is finding it difficult to cope up with the pressure and some of the companies may become sick," he had said.
The FIA, in its plea, had alleged the AERA's order allowing GMR-promoted DIAL to increase the tariff by 345 percent was "unlawful" as it was hiked without following the basic norms of the regulated sectors, like performing independent audit prudence check, to do it.