Rajya Sabha passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 16 July

Last Updated: July 17, 2019

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Rajya Sabha passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 16 July
17 July 2019 Current Affairs: The Rajya Sabha passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 16 July. The Bill aims to raise the threshold for an airport to qualify as major airport and inturn to reduce the tariff-fixing power of airport regulator to fewer airports. 
The approval of the Bill will make as many as 16 airports under the purview of AERA. All other airports will continue to be looked after by the Civil Aviation Ministry. The amendment of the Bill does not subserve the interest of consumers.

Bill lapsed:
AERA (Amendment) Bill was earlier approved by the Cabinet in December 2017 during the first tenure of Modi government. The Bill got lapsed as it could not be passed in last year’s Monsoon Session.
In the second term of the NDA government, the new Lok Sabha has approved the Bill again. The Bill got the Cabinet approval on June 24.

Cons of the Bill:
Privatisation of the airports and bidding system would impact the growth rate of sector, which is growing at around 10%. As the air ticket will be costlier the government would not be able to fulfill its target to take the air travel to common man.

Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA):
The AERA is a regulator that has the powers to set the tariffs charged at airports. It was established under the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008. Currently, the major airports, that have an annual capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers, falls under the purview of Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).

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