A parliamentary committee report on the modernisation of airports on Sunday observed that the concept of 'gold plating' of airports by private operators should be avoided.
The committee led by Rajya Sabha member Sujeet Kumar in the report recommended that whilst the airport terminals need to be comfortable and facilitate a smoother and hassle-free journey, they need not be overly opulent and the concept of gold plating of airports by private operators should be avoided.
The report read, "The most important stakeholder in the sector is the common passenger whose aspiration and need to undertake air travel will deepen with the passage of time and growth of the economy. The Committee, therefore, recommends to the Government to develop world-class standards but at the same time ensure that they are cost-effective and user charges remain affordable and competitive as compared to other airports in the Asia Pacific region."
It further mentioned that the panel observed that the financial feasibility of airport investments by the private sector dictates that funding is recovered by the "User Pays Principle".
The report further stated, "India is a developing country and passengers are price-conscious. In our national civil aviation policy, affordability and sustainability have been emphasized by the government."
The committee observed that maximum people use the airports just for travel, do the baggage check-in, get their baggage on arrival, and leave.
"Other peripherals cannot be given that much importance as could rather be given to the passenger service. It is true that the quality of airport infrastructure is a vital component of the overall transportation network as it contributes directly to the country's international competitiveness and the flow of foreign funds," it further added.