MoCA fixes RCS levy; plans to expand to unserved routes under Phase II

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has fixed the levy on scheduled flights under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) at Rs 5,000. The revised levy is effective from June 1, 2017. The amount already paid by the airlines as the earlier charges will be adjusted as per the new circular. Since December 2016, the MoCA has been collecting a levy of up to Rs 8,500 per departure from the airlines operating on major domestic routes, including Delhi and Mumbai. Meanwhile in a separate development, the MoCA is planning to expand the RCS to unserved routes under Phase II of the programme that is slated to begin in August 2017. Further, the routes to be connected are likely to be decided by the airlines and not the government and may include unserved routes between better connected airports as well. Besides, other changes proposed for Phase II include a reduction in the minimum distance for an RCS flight to below 150 km and the number of years of exclusivity from three years under Phase I to one year under Phase II.