In what comes as a severe blow for passengers the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) has increased various charges including user development fee at Thiruvananthapuram airport. The move would result in a steep increase in flight tariffs. 

The user fee for international passengers had been increased from Rs 575 to Rs 950, and domestic fliers will have to pay Rs 450 from July 1. Subsequent charges are increased by around Rs40  till 2020-21 for international passengers and about Rs 20 for domestic travellers. AERA aims to increase the user fee of international travellers to Rs1069 and domestic passengers to Rs506 by 2020.

The revised order was published on June 2. The decision was taken with a plan to attract airlines to operate more domestic flights and improve connectivity. Landing charges too have been hiked which comes as an incentive to operators of domestic airlines. 

However, there are rumours that the steep hike is likely to invoke strong objections from passengers. Further, Nedumbassery and Karipur airports do not charge a user fee.

Though a proposal to introduce user fee was made in 2011, during the construction of the international terminal, it invited severe criticism. The proposal was to charge Rs 1020 from international passengers and Rs550 from domestic fliers. However, the move was halted after a protest from passengers and intervention by the state government.