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Zimbabwe airport tax to shoot up 100%

by Staff reporter
14 Feb 2017 at 12:41hrs | Views

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) has proposed a 100 percent increase in Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund (Aidef) – an airport tax - to enable it to repay a loan for the upgrading of the Harare International Airport.

Caaz chief executive officer David Chawota told the parliamentary portfolio committee on Transport yesterday that the move would help resource the agency.

"We need a review of Aidef from $5 to $10 for domestic departures and $15 to $30 for international departures," Chawota said, admitting that Zimbabwe had one of the highest airport taxes in the region.

Caaz's three major revenue sources are passenger service fees, landing and parking fees as well as navigation fees which contribute about 85 percent of its total revenue.

Chawota said the agency's target is to increase operational revenue by 17 percent from $35 million in 2016 to $40,7 million in 2017.

"The Aidef funds are the ones currently repaying the Victoria Falls Airport loan….For the second batch of the loan, we have approached government to ask for what was agreed upon before (which is $10 for domestic departures $30 for international departures)," Chawota said, adding "what we need is $180 million but we have been advised we can get $153 million for the (upgrading of) Harare International Airport."

Chairperson of the committee, Chegutu West Zanu-PF MP Dexter Nduna, expressed concern on what the hike would do to the country's tourism sector, to which Chawota replied:  "The comparison we have done so far is indicative that we are on the higher-end in the region.

"We are currently reviewing the total cost for Zimbabwe as a destination…that is one of our strategies for 2017."

The Aidef as well as the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) are payments due to Caaz that are ordinarily collected by airlines on its behalf for future remittance.

Caaz has, however, assumed the role of collecting the PSC and Aidef charges directly from Air Zimbabwe passengers, a scenario that was causing a great deal of discomfort to passengers.

This situation has been made worse by the fact that Masvingo Airport and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport have no swipe machines, with passengers required to pay cash, parliamentarians heard yesterday.

However, Chawota assured legislators that Caaz was moving to become ICT compliant.

He also said passengers would soon revert to making the PSC and Aidef payments to Air Zimbabwe saying the two were ironing out their differences.

Source - dailynews

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