THE AIRPORTS ECONOMIC REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF INDIA ACT, 2008
[Act No. 27 of 2008]
[5th December, 2008]
An Act to provide for the establishment of an Airports Economic Regulatory Authority to regulate tariff and other charges for the aeronautical services rendered at airports and to monitor performance standards of airports and also to establish Appellate Tribunal to adjudicate disputes and dispose of appeals and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--
Section 1. short title, commencement and application
(1) This Act may be called the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008.
(2) It shall come into force on such date1 as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
(3) It applies to--
(a) all airports whereat air transport services are operated or are intended to be operated, other than airports and airfields belonging to or subject to the control of the Armed Forces or paramilitary Forces of the Union;
(b) all private airports and leased airports;
(c) all civil enclaves;
(d) all major airports,
|1. Chapter III and Chapter VI of Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008 effective on 01st September, 2009 vide Notification No. GSR624(E) Dated 31.08.2009.|
Section 2. Definitions
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--
(a) "aeronautical service" means any service provided--
(i) for navigation, surveillance and supportive communication thereto for air traffic management;
(ii) for the landing, housing or parking of an aircraft or any other ground facility offered in connection with aircraft operations at an airport;
(iii) for ground safety services at an airport;
(iv) for ground handling services relating to aircraft, passengers and cargo at an airport;
(v) for the cargo facility at an airport;
(vi) for supplying fuel to the aircraft at an airport; and
(vii) for a stake-holder at an airport, for which the charges, in the opinion of the Central Government for the reasons to be recorded in writing, may be determined by the Authority;
(b) "airport" means a landing and taking off area for aircrafts, usually with runways and aircraft maintenance and passenger facilities and includes an aerodrome as defined in clause (2) of section 2 of the Aircraft Act, 1934(22 of 1934);
(c) "airport user" means any person availing of passenger or cargo facilities at an airport;
(d) "Appellate Tribunal" means the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal established under section 17;
(e) "Authority" means the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority established under sub-section (1) of section 3;
(f) "civil enclave" means an area, if any, allotted at an airport belonging to any armed force of the Union, for use by persons availing of any air transport services from such airport or for the handling of baggage or cargo by such service, and includes land comprising of any building and structure on such area;
(g) "Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Authority appointed under sub-section (2) of section 4;
(h) "leased airport" means an airport in respect of which a lease has been made under section 12A of the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994(55 of 1994);
(i) "major airport" means any airport which has, or is designated to have, annual passenger throughput in excess of one and a half million or any other airport as the Central Government may, by notification, specify as such;
(j) "Member" means a Member of the Authority and includes the Chairperson;
(k) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(l) "private airport" has the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (nn) of section 2 of the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994(55 of 1994);
(m) "regulations" means regulations made by the Authority under this Act;
(n) "service provider" means any person who provides aeronautical services and is eligible to levy and charge user development fees from the embarking passengers at any airport and includes the authority which manages the airport;
(o) "stake-holder" includes a licensee of an airport, airlines operating thereat, a person who provides aeronautical services, and any association of individuals, which in the opinion of the Authority, represents the passenger or cargo facility users;
(p) words and expressions used but not defined in this Act and defined in the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994(55 of 1994) shall have the same meanings respectively assigned to them in that Act.
Section 3. Establishment of Authority
(1) The Central Government shall, within three months from the date of commencement of this Act, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish an Authority, to be known as the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority, to exercise the powers conferred on, and the functions assigned to it, by or under this Act.
(2) The Authority shall be a body corporate by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and to contract and shall, by the said name, sue or be sued.
(3) The head office of the Authority shall be at such place as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.
Section 4. Composition of Authority
(1) The Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and two other Members to be appointed by the Central Government:
Provided that whenever the Authority is deciding a matter involving a civil enclave in a defence airfield, there shall be an additional Member, not below the rank of Additional Secretary to the Government of India, to be nominated by the Ministry of Defence.
(2) The Chairperson and Members of the Authority shall be appointed by the Central Government from amongst persons of ability and integrity having adequate knowledge of, and professional experience in, aviation, economics, law, commerce or consumer affairs:
Provided that a person who is or has been in the service of Government shall not be appointed as a Member unless such person has held the post of Secretary or Additional Secretary to the Government of India or any equivalent post in the Central or State Government for a total period of not less than three years.
(3) The Chairperson and other Members shall be whole-time Members.
(4) The Chairperson or other Members shall not hold any other office.
(5) The Chairperson shall be the Chief Executive of the Authority.
(6) The Chairperson and other Members of the Authority shall be appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of Selection Committee referred to in section 5.
Section 5. Constitution of Selection Committee to recommend Members
(1) The Central Government shall, for the purpose of sub-section (6) of section 4 constitute a Selection Committee consisting of the following, namely:--
(a) Cabinet Secretary -- Chairman;
(b) Secretary, in the Ministry of Civil Aviation -- Member;
(c) Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law and Justice -- Member;
(d) Secretary, in the Ministry of Defence -- Member;
(e) One expert to be nominated by the Ministry of Civil Aviation -- Member.
(2) The Central Government shall within one month from the date of occurrence of any vacancy by reason of death, resignation or removal of the Chairperson or a Member and six months before the superannuation or end of tenure of the Chairperson or any Member, make a reference to the Selection Committee for filling up of the vacancy.
(3) The Selection Committee shall finalise the selection of the Chairperson and Members within one month from the date on which the reference is made to it.
(4) The Selection Committee shall recommend a panel of two names for every vacancy referred to it.
(5) Before recommending any person for appointment as a Chairperson or other Member of the Authority, the Selection Committee shall satisfy itself that such person does not have any financial or other interest which is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as a Member.
(6) No appointment of the Chairperson or other Member shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy in the Selection Committee.
Section 6. Terms of office and other conditions of service, etc., of Chairpersons and Members
(1) The Chairperson and other Members, shall hold office, as such, for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office, but shall not be eligible for re-appointment:
Provided that no Chairperson or other Member shall hold office, as such, after he attains --
(a) in the case of the Chairperson, the age of sixty-five years; and
(b) in the case of any other Member, the age of sixty-two years.
Explanation.--For the purposes of this sub-section, a Member may be appointed as Chairperson of the Authority, but a person who has been the Chairperson shall not be eligible for appointment as a Member.
(2) The salary and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of, the Chairperson and other Members shall be such as may be prescribed.
(3) The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of the Chairperson and other Members shall not be varied to their disadvantage after their appointment.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Chairperson or any Member may,--
(a) relinquish his office by giving, in writing to the Central Government, a notice of not less than three months; or
(b) be removed from his office in accordance with the provisions of section 8.
(5) The Chairperson or any Member ceasing to hold office, as such, shall--
(a) be ineligible for further employment under the Central Government or any State Government for a period of two years from the date he ceases to hold such office;
(b) not accept any commercial employment including private for a period of two years from the date he ceases to hold such office; or
(c) not represent any person before the Authority in any other manner. Explanation.--For the purposes of this sub-section,--
(a) "employment under the Central Government or State Government" includes employment under any local or other authority within the territory of India or under the control of the Central Government or State Government or under any corporation or society owned or controlled by the Government.
(b) "commercial employment" means employment in any capacity under, or agency of, a person engaged in trading, commercial, industrial or financial business in any field and includes also a director of a company or partner of a firm and it also includes setting up practice either independently or as partner of a firm or as an adviser or a consultant.
Section 7. Power of Chairperson
The Chairperson shall have powers of general superintendence and directions in the conduct of the affairs of the Authority and he shall, in addition to presiding over the meetings of the Authority, exercise and discharge such powers and functions of the Authority and shall discharge such other powers and functions as may be prescribed.
Section 8. Removal and suspension of Members
(1) The Central Government may, by order, remove from office the Chairperson or other Member, if the Chairperson or such other Member, as the case may be,--
(a) has been adjudged an insolvent; or
(b) has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude; or
(c) has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a Member; or
(d) has acquired such financial or other interest, as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as a Member; or
(e) has so abused his position, as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest; or
(f) has engaged at any time during his term of office in any other employment.
(2) The Chairperson or any other Member shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the Central Government on the ground of his proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Central Government, has, on an inquiry, held in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this behalf by the Central Government, come to the conclusion that the Member ought on any such ground to be removed.
(3) The Central Government may suspend any Member in respect of whom an inquiry under sub-section (2) is being initiated or pending until the Central Government has passed an order on receipt of the report of the inquiry.
Section 9. Appointment of Secretary, experts, professionals and officers and other employees of Authority
(1) The Central Government may appoint a Secretary to discharge his functions under this Act.
(2) The Authority may appoint such officers and other employees as it considers necessary for the efficient discharge of its functions under this Act.
(3) The salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the Secretary and officers and other employees of the Authority and the number of such officers and other employees shall be such as may be prescribed.
(4) The Authority may engage, in accordance with the procedure specified by regulations such number of experts and professionals of integrity and outstanding ability, who have special knowledge of, and experience in, economics, law, business or such other disciplines related to aviation as it deems necessary to assist the Authority in the discharge of its functions under this Act.
Section 10. Meeting
(1) The Authority shall meet at such places and times and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings (including the quorum at its meetings), as may be determined by regulations.
(2) The Chairperson shall preside at the meeting of the Authority and if for any reason the Chairperson is unable to attend a meeting of the Authority, any other Member chosen by the members present from amongst themselves at the meeting shall preside at the meeting.
(3) All questions which come up before any meeting of the Authority shall be decided by a majority of votes of the Members present and voting and, in the event of an equality of votes, the Chairperson or the Member presiding shall have the right to exercise a second or casting vote.
(4) Save as otherwise provided in sub-section (1), every Member shall have one vote.
Section 11. Authentication
All orders and decisions of the Authority shall be authenticated by signatures of the Secretary or any other officer of the Authority, duly authorised by the Authority in this behalf.
Section 12. Vacancies, etc., not to invalidate proceedings of Authority
No act or proceedings of the Authority shall be invalid merely by reason of--
(a) any vacancy in, or any defect in, the constitution of the Authority; or
(b) any defect in the appointment of a person acting as a Member of the Authority; or
(c) any irregularity in the procedure of the Authority not affecting the merits of the case.