Govt gazettes sharp hike in airport tax

HARARE - Government has gazetted the sharp hike in departure fees for air travellers using national carrier Air Zimbabwe.

Statutory Instrument ( SI) 115/2017 gazetted last week legalises the doubling of departure fees – to $10 per person on domestic flights, and to $30 per person on international flights. The fees go to the Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund. Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) proposed the 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 recently 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.”

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