GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday April 24, 2019 – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling for urgent talks with management of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) over the calculation and collection of new and increased airport fees.
In a statement issued yesterday, IATA, a trade association with membership of nearly airlines representing 117 countries, called for immediate dialogue on the implementation process related to the increase in the government-mandated Airport Security Fee and the introduction of a new Passenger Service Charge at Guyana’s main airport.
The fees which the authorities say are to support improvements at the airport, represent an increase in security fees and the introduction of a passenger service charge. The cost to travellers for a round trip is US$35; for departing passengers it is US$17; and for one-way departing passengers it is US$15, payable in Guyana dollars at the prevailing foreign exchange rate.
But IATA said the airport’s continued refusal to cooperate with IATA on both the proper calculation and implementation of such fees and charges, has now led to a situation where airlines have been forced to manually collect the additional amounts from both arriving and departing passengers.
“It is completely unacceptable that passengers are being inconvenienced in such a manner. This is a direct result of the airport’s management refusal to engage with IATA on a process which is standard practice across the globe. As a consequence, our member airlines have unfortunately no choice other than to manually collect the additional fees and charges,” said Peter Cerda, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Americas in a statement.
IATA says it has worldwide standards in place enabling airlines to collect government-imposed fees, service charges and taxes as part of an airline ticket, which are then transferred to the respective governments. “This has provided a smoother travel experience for passengers, by eliminating the former practice whereby many governments manually collected some of these fees and taxes at airports,” it said.
IATA says it wants clarity from the airport operator on how the fees and charges have been calculated, as international standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Document 9082, were not followed.
“We understand that airports need to recover their investment costs. This must however be achieved through a collaborative and transparent process, ensuring that imposed fees are proportionate to the planned expenditure. This can best be achieved in partnership between all sectors of the aviation industry, thereby unlocking the true potential of a country and its people,” Cerda said.
“As such we urgently call on the management of Cheddi Jagan International Airport to engage into the requested dialogue, so passengers are no longer inconvenienced, and member airlines can return to their normal business. This will ensure the sustainability of the aviation sector in Guyana and facilitate the growth of tourism and trade, thereby contributing to a vibrant and healthy economy.”