The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has written to all regional heads that the revenue share percentage for RT-PCR and Rapid RT-PCR tests at airports should be withdrawn. The letter dated December 6 is signed by the executive director of operations, VA Chourey.
Under the present arrangement, a percentage of the fee charged by laboratories that undertake tests at airports is shared with the agency that runs the airport.
The letter from Chourey said that the benefit is to be passed on to passengers by reducing the cost of the tests. Space rental and other charges should continue as per the existing contract, the AAI letter said.
AAI chairperson Sanjeev Kumar said, “Omicron needs to tackled on an immediate basis and hence we have given some directions to all our airports.’’
Another officer of the AAI said, “Many airports charged royalty or rentals from the laboratories doing the test. We want to do away with this and the same must be passed to the passengers.’’
Chourey’s letter said that as per a letter dated September 2, 2020, the Covid-19 testing facility for passengers is provided at some of the AAI airports by hiring agencies on revenue model for carrying out the RT-PCR/Rapid RT-PCR tests of passengers.
“However, in view of Omicron, the Union health ministry wants random two per cent check on passengers and compulsory testing of passengers arriving from at-risk countries, so it was decided that the rates of Covid-19 testing will be reduced,” an official said.