Union Cabinet approves AERA (Amendment) Bill

The Union Cabinet on Monday approved the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, sources said.

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) is a regulator that has the powers to set the tariffs charged at airports. The amendment is likely to allow the AERA to bid out any new airport at a pre-determined tariff structure, sources said.

Currently, major airports with an annual capacity to handle one-and-a-half million passengers come under the purview of AERA.

If the amendment is passed by the Parliament, the definition of major airports would be changed to any aerodrome which has or is designated to have annual passenger capacity of three-and-a-half million.

The AERA (Amendment) Bill was last approved by the Cabinet during the Modi government's first tenure in December 2017.

However, it could not be passed in last year's monsoon session.

As new Lok Sabha has come in place now, the older bill has lapsed. Therefore, the Cabinet approved the bill again on Monday so that it can be re-introduced in Parliament for passage.

(Agencies)