India’s Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA) is threatening legal action against financial penalties imposed since July 1 by Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) on transient aircraft parked at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport beyond an agreed number of days. The penalty is seven times more than the present cost of parking, BAOA said.
The airport, which cannot be expanded beyond its single runway, has been a concern for many years as commercial and business aviation traffic has increased. A second airport is at least seven years away from completion.
“We understand there is congestion at Mumbai. However, you cannot arbitrarily impose penalties without consent of the regulator [India’s Airports Economic Regulatory Authority],” BAOA president Rohit Kapur told AIN.
“Mumbai has a problem of space. We have just 28 parking slots,” a MIAL spokesman said. “The 55 to 60 aircraft there each day are sometimes stacked up like toys, creating safety issues.”
The BAOA contends that if the concern is purely for safety then no operator should be allowed to overstay, making the penalty clause unnecessary. The group contends that the parking fees are just a move to extract more revenue from business aircraft operators.