The Adani Group-run Lucknow International Airport Limited has proposed to increase user development fees for domestic and international departures, reported The Times of India.

If the proposal is accepted, flying out of the Uttar Pradesh capital may become more expensive.

The airport operator has proposed to increase the user development fees for domestic departures from Rs 192 to Rs 1,025 and for international departures from Rs 561 to Rs 2,756. It has made the proposal to the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority.

The Adani Group has also proposed to increase the rates for domestic and international cargo handling services, as well as integrated fuel storage and supply.

The user development fees are directly borne by passengers, while other aeronautical charges are collected from airlines, which fix their fares based on their operating costs.

The tariff hike has been proposed to be increased in three phases from April 1, 2023 till April 1, 2025, according to The Times of India. The increased rates are expected to fund development projects for the airport.

Commenting on the proposal, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority said that it “does its own due diligence” and fixes tariff rates after taking into account the views of all stakeholders. “Final tariff rate card issued by the authority is likely to be different from that submitted by the airport operator,” the authority said, according to The Times of India.

The Adani Group entered the airport development and management sector in 2019, when it won bids to operate and manage six airports Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram.

In 2020, the conglomerate also acquired a 74% stake in the Mumbai International Airport Limited. The conglomerate bought a 50.5% stake from the GVK Group and 23.5% from minority partners Airports Company South Africa and Bidvest Group.

Over the past five weeks, the Gautam Adani-led conglomerate has found itself in controversy following a report by United States-based firm Hindenburg Research released on January 24.

The report alleged that the Adani Group had engaged in stock manipulation and accounting fraud to pull off the “largest con in corporate history”. The Congress and other Opposition parties have accused the Union government of showing favouritism to the conglomerate.

Also read:Why Rahul Gandhi accused Modi government of bending rules to hand over airports to Adani