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Stakeholders seek increase in passengers’ charges at airports

Stakeholders seek increase in passengers’ charges at airports

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Louis Ibah

Stakeholders in the aviation sector are pushing for an increase in charges paid by passengers who fly through Nigerian airports as part of measures of raising funds for the infrastructural upgrade and maintenance of the airports. 

Known as the Passengers Service Charge (PSC),  N1,000 is usually collected by either the airline or the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that manages the airports on behalf of the Federal Government.

At airports where the PSC is collected by the airlines upon the purchase of tickets, it is usually remitted to FAAN upon completion of the flight.

The General Secretary of National Union of Pensioners (NUP), FAAN branch, Mr. Emeka Njoku, told journalists that a review of the current PSC was over due given the various projects being executed at the airports.

Njoku said the last review of the PSC was done about eight years ago and that the union supported plans by FAAN for an upward review of the current PSC which is expected to take effect from January 2019.

“The acquisition and maintenance of current infrastructure at airports across the country is becoming increasingly difficult that the only way to survive was for FAAN to adjust upwards its charges to reflect the current value and cost of operation.

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“Equipment are becoming obsolete and they need replacement, this can only be done with funds which is not readily  available,” he added.

On his part, the National Secretary of Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), Mr. Abdulrasaq Saidu,  said the running cost of facility maintenance at Nigerian airports had increased  and there was nothing wrong  in raising the PSC to enable FAAN meet up with their quest of providing qualitative service to passengers.

Saidu said the increment was more justified after eight years of the last review, stressing that things have changed in the last eight years.

“Inflation through these years has drastically affected the cost of doing business and even airlines and other airport users have reviewed their charges severally within these period,” said Saidu.

“We have four new terminals built to international standards, the PSC tariff fixed eight years ago will not be suitable for these new terminals owing to new technology, maintenance and other related costs,” he added.

He emphasised that passenger traffic has grown by more than 65 per cent between 2011 and 2019. The effect of this increased traffic on the airport facilities , needed to be taken into consideration.

He, however expressed doubt that passengers traffic might drop if the PSC upward review was too high. Saidu however cautioned on an astronomical increase  noting  that airlines might also be forced to increase airfare if the PSC was raised too high.

The President of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Mr. Ben Nnabue, also said FAAN must adjust its charges if it hoped to ensure safety and efficiency at the airports.

“Safety and efficiency are expensive, for FAAN to maintain airport facilities to world class standard, there is need to increase their charges. Most of the fittings in that airports are imported and FAAN has increased in their cost of operations,” he said.

“Since the last increment eight years ago, the value of foreign currencies have increased while the cost of electricity generation and diesel at the airports have also increased,” he added.

The post Stakeholders seek increase in passengers’ charges at airports appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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