The ministry of civil aviation has shot down the proposal of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to increase passenger security fee. The ministry has proposed to create a consolidated fund to meet the security expense at Delhi airport which DIAL had also suggested. As per plans, sources said, the passenger security fee (PSF) collected from passengers will go to the consolidated fund and all expenses will be managed out of it.
The DIAL, which operates the Delhi airport, had said that there is a need to increase passenger security fee (PSF) as they are unable to carry on day to day security-related operations. Currently, every departing passenger pays Rs 200 as security fee, which DIAL wants to increase. However, a senior ministry official said that increasing the fee is not a solution and is not the right way forward.
“If the PSF has remained constant, passenger flow has increased which lead to increase in the money collected. Increasing the fee will not solve anything as after few months the operator will come again for increase in fee,” a civil aviation ministry official said.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had recently written to the civil aviation ministry seeking their intervention in releasing dues of about Rs 655.40 crore from DIAL. The ministry is also considering audit of Delhi airport’s PSF account.
“The consolidated fund will be used for salary and other operational expenses. There will be a different fund for security equipment required for the airport. The account of all the airports will be common so that money can be diverted wherever it is required,” the official added. The cost of deployment of CISF is borne by the installation where it is in place and the amount goes to a consolidated fund of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). MHA pays the salary to CISF.
Sources said, till September 2012, there used to be regular payment but after that DIAL started paying less. DIAL collects R 22-24 crore as passenger security fee (PSF). Out of the the PSF of Rs 200 collected from each departing passenger, Rs 130 is collected towards security component while Rs 70 is collected as facilitation charge. In 2016-17, DIAL collected Rs 382 crore from passengers but paid Rs 204 crore to CISF claiming rest of the amount is paid as loan interest, service tax and administrative charges