Bhubaneswar: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has decided not to charge parking or entry fee at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in the capital city as per a new policy issued from December 10, 2018.

In a reply to BJD MP Prasanna Acharya during a discussion in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that the free time limit system for parking or entry of vehicles at the Bhubaneswar airport has been abolished.

"The AAI has recently issued new vehicle parking policy on December 10 for the Bhubaneswar airport. In the new policy, concept of free time limit has been removed. As per the new policy, vehicle (except commercial vehicles) going to pick-up/drop lanes will not be charged any parking /entry/ access fee,” said Sinha.

Asked whether any other airport collects such parking fees, Union Minister further stated that there is a free time limit for each vehicle to pick and drop passengers at airports managed by the AAI and no parking fee or entry fee is charged within that time but if a vehicle overstays, the fee is charged at airports.

Replying to a query on whether timing of the parking slip is tampered at Bhubaneswar airport, Sinha said no such instance has come to the notice of the Ministry.

It may be noted that the Bhubaneswar Airport has been drawing criticism for years with passengers complaining of bad management of its parking lots and misbehavior from parking staff.

Even as the vehicles only drop off or pick up passengers, they used to pay parking fees leading to huge inconvenience & delay due to choking at the airport entrance and exit.

Meanwhile, former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda, who had earlier raked up the issue several times in the past, today welcomed the move to abolish collection of parking fees at the international airport.