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Naia eyes hike in passenger fees to meet maintenance, opex needs

Posted 3 years ago

By Recto Mercene

Naia eyes hike in passenger fees to meet maintenance, opex needs

Photo Credit: Carmudi Philippines

THE country’s premier gateway has proposed to increase the passenger terminal fee for local and international flights to raise money for the airports’ maintenance and operating expenses.

Airport general manager Ed V. Monreal made the announcement on Wednesday during an airport media forum attended by top Department of Transportation (DOTr) officials.

“Historically, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport [Naia] has the lowest terminal fee within the Philippines,” he said, noting that Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and Clark have higher terminal fees.

The last time the Naia increased the officially named International Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) was in 1999.

“We have [made] many improvements, we need funding, although the proposal is not final but has been approved by the board,” he said, adding the proposed fees would still have to be published in a newspaper of national circulation.

According to Monreal, international passengers at the MCIA are charged P850, and domestic passengers, P300.

At Subic Bay International Airport, the rate is P650 for international and P150 for domestic, while Clark International Airport’s terminal fee is P600 for international and P150 for domestic.

At the Naia, however, the fee for international flights is only P550; and for domestic, P200. The Naia’s proposed new terminal fee for international flights is P750, and for domestic, P300.

Monreal said the average fee in the region is the equivalent of about P2,000.

If approved, the terminal fee adjustment would be implemented in the second quarter of next year, Monreal said.

The proposal has already been discussed in public hearings and was approved by the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) Board, with the management agreeing to impose it in April 2019.

The terminal fee hike, Monreal stressed, is also to cover the airport’s operational expenses such as on infrastructure and service improvements, including security expenses.

The new terminal fees will be included in the plane tickets and paid by the airlines—which, expectedly—would tack it eventually as an additional airplane fee.

The airport chief pointed out that the proposed adjustment is also part of the airport’s rehabilitation plan.

The Naia has in the past raised international terminal fees thrice—from April 1, 1993, the IPSC was P250 and it was increased to P300; then to P500 on April 1, 1994, and then to P550 on April 1, 1999.

For domestic flights, the Miaa hiked the charge it levied on passengers from P100 to P200 in September 2005.

Monreal said terminal fee exemptions are still in effect, and cover overseas Filipino workers, athletes, children below two years old, and government officials on official travel.

Night-rated airports
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said he aims to increase the number of night-rated airports to 36, out of the 44 commercial airports managed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap).

At the moment, there are about 20 airports that are night-rated, up from 15 since the start of the Duterte administration, according to Caap Director General Jim Sydiongco.

He said the Caap manages a total of 86 airports but half of these are community airports or provincial airstrips.

These far-flung airports were constructed either to accommodate small, private airplanes or those belonging to general aviation, or as emergency landing sites for commercial planes.

Sydiongco listed several requirements before an airport could be night-rated, meaning it could be open to operations even at night time.

“You have to extend the length of the runway and expand the width, you have to put up a control tower and you must have air-traffic controllers to man them,” Sydiongco said.

Some airports that are proposed to be night-rated are Kalibo, San Vicente Airport, Palawan; Panglao Airport, Bohol; Naga, Cotabato and Tuguegarao.

“These are priority airports which we hope would be night-rated before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term,” Tugade said.

Source: businessmirror.com.ph

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