Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) AERA, was established by the Government of India vide notification No. GSR 317(E) dated 12th May 2009 as a statutory body of Government of India. The Parliament of India enacted an Act called “The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008” (hereinafter to be referred as the “Act”). The said Act envisages the establishment of a statutory authority called the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (hereinafter referred to as the “AERA”) to regulate tariff for the aeronautical services, determine other airport charges for services rendered at major airports and to monitor the performance standards of such airports. The provisions of the said Act came into force w.e.f. 1st September, 2009.
The functions of AERA, in respect of major airports, are specified in section 13 of the Act, which are as below:
- To determine the tariff for aeronautical services taking into consideration the capital expenditure incurred and timely investment in the improvement of airport facilities.
- The service provided, its quality and other relevant factors.
- The cost for improving efficiency.
- Economic and viable operation of major airports.
- The concession offered by the Central Government in any agreement or memorandum of understanding or otherwise, and
- Any other factor which may be relevant for the purpose of the Act.
- Determine the amount of the development fees.
- Determine the amount of the passengers’ service fee levied under Rule 88 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 made under the Aircraft Act, 1934.
- Monitor the set performance standards relating to quality, continuity and reliability of service as may be specified by the Central Government or any authority authorized by it in this behalf.
- Call for any such information as may be necessary to determine the tariff for aeronautical services, and
- Perform such other functions relating to tariff, as may be entrusted to it by the Central Government or as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act.
Today, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India plays a vital role in fostering a healthy competition amongst all Major Airports, encouraging investment in airport facilities, protection of reasonable interests of users, operation of efficient, economic and viable airports through regulations of tariff for aero nautical services/activities and also monitors performance standards at Major Airports.