Business Aircraft Ops to India: Additional Services & Operating Costs

PT 3 M minute read
Business Aircraft Ops to India: Additional Services & Operating Costs

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in India and continues from our last article: “Business Aircraft Ops to India: Ground Handling.”

When you operate to India, your ground handler will orchestrate all additional service requirements and credit arrangements with advance notification. At smaller and more remote airport locations, however, it’s best to plan on additional lead time for ground handling requests. This is particularly true if you need additional ground support equipment or have non-standard catering requirements.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Ground handling and other costs

Costs for ground handling in India depend on the size of the aircraft and the type of airport. Costs are typically higher at privatized airports such as New Delhi (VIDP), Mumbai (VABB), and Hyderabad (VOHS). Airport and government-related charges in India include landing fees, parking, en route navigation, terminal navigation, passenger service fees, visa-on-arrival fees, and taxes on remaining onboard fuel (when applicable). Ground handlers usually extend credit for all airport and 4th-party fees, with prior arrangement. Be aware that there will be additional costs if you’ve arranged to bring in a supervisory agent to oversee local handling. With prior notification your handler will provide an advance cost quote, covering anticipated handling costs, and airport fees – as well as any requested in-flight catering or local transport services.

2. Airport charges

Ramp charges and parking fees vary depending on the airport, and each airport has its own equations for determining these charges. Some assess charges based on the Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW), wingspan, and/or per-hour time on the ground. At airports operated by the Indian government, the first two hours of aircraft parking are typically at no charge. However, when operating to privatized airfields, you’ll seldom have any free parking included.

3. In-flight catering considerations

All major Airports of Entry (AOEs) have in-flight caterers on the field. Catering menus can be provided with advance notice. However, at smaller domestic and military airports, you may need to source catering from local restaurants or hotels. Generally, there are no issues in bringing self-sourced catering through security and out to your aircraft, and your ground handler will assist with this. Be aware that your handler may not have refrigeration facilities on hand to store any of your onboard catering for the next flight leg. It’s important to confirm airport or off-airport storage options if onboard catering is to be kept for the duration of your visit.

4. Local transport

Be mindful that private vehicles are not permitted airside in India to pick up/drop off passengers. Your ground handler will supply airside transport from the office to the terminal or general aviation terminal, where pre-arranged local transport will be waiting. While rental vehicles are usually only available at AOEs, arrangements can be made to have rental vehicles brought in to smaller domestic airport locations.

5. Arrival/departure cards

Arrival cards are required for all passengers and crew members in India, but departure cards are no longer needed. Your ground handler will pre-fill out these cards, assuming information has been sent in advance. Crew members must also furnish a statement that there are no weapons or ammunition onboard, and your handler will also assist with this. Be aware that, at some airports in India, the pilot in command may be asked to provide the aircraft log book to airport authorities. This is not a standard requirement, but your handler will advise if it’s necessary for your particular destination airport.

6. Additional reading: Business Aircraft Ops to India – Series Index

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


Each airport has their own charges for aircraft traveling to their location: some use wingspan or MTOW. Also, in-flight catering options vary from airport to airport, so it’s always best to communicate with your ground handler in advance.

Later, we’ll discuss fuel and security for India and their impact on your trip.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to India, contact Christine Vamvakas at

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