Various airline companies operating flights to and from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) are yet to pay NRs 2.35 Billion airport service fees. As per the information from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), Saurya Airlines, Himalaya Airlines, Air India are left to pay the amount to the TIA Civil Aviation Office.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the federal parliament informed that the payment of NRs 5 Million is in the process. The members from PAC have shown concern towards the probable money scam during the payment of airport service charge.
Officials from PAC doubt that there has been some fraudulent act by the airport authorities and the airlines. However, General Manager of TIA Mr. Raj Kumar Chhetri committed that the pending airport service charge would be collected within next 3 months.
In case of airline operators being unable to clear the dues within 3 months, their flight operation will be halted, added Mr. Chhettri.
Few months ago, TIA Authority halted the flight operation of AirAsiaX after the airline failed to pay the outstanding dues of the airport. As AirAsia announced to cancel its flights to Kathmandu from October 13, TIA authority grounded its Airbus 330 aircraft on October 12 asking the company to first clear its dues. But the authority permitted the release of aircraft after AirAsia head office committed to pay the dues.
Majority of the domestic and international airlines are hesitating towards paying the airport service charge of TIA. The TIACAO is seen feeble while collecting the service charges and is not being able to implement the airport service charge regulations.
According to the Airport Service Charge Regulation 2067, the responsibility of collecting airport service charge goes to the chief of the airport who has to submit statement to head office every month. Likewise, those who fail to dispatch airport service charge within 60 days from the generation of bill then the airport chief can halt their business whereas in case of airline operators, the flight will be restricted.
In addition, the authority can blacklist the business and airline operators if they fail to pay the airport service charge and act beyond the rules, regulations and agreement of the authority. In such case, the business and airline operators will be restricted to run any businesses at the airport.