The International Air Transportation Association in a terse statement this evening, has roasted the Cheddi Jagan International Airport over the inconvenience being suffered by passengers because of the manual payment of airport fees during departures and arrivals.
In its statement, the international body issued a call for immediate dialogue with the management of Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation (CJIA) and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure 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 Georgetown airport.
The Association said the continued refusal by the airport operator 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”, IATA’S Regiibal Vice President, Peter Cerda, said in a statement.
He said there are worldwide standards in place enabling airlines to collect government-imposed fees, service charges and taxes as part of an airline ticket and those fees and charges are then transferred to the respective governments.
In its statement, IATA said it would also like clarity from the airport operator on how the fees and charges have been calculated, as again 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. 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”, the IATA official said.
Since the implementation of the US$17 exit and entry fees, airlines and passengers have complained about the inconvenience of having to join long lines to pay the fees.
The airport had stated that by July of this year, plans would have been put into place for the new fees to become part of the cost for the tickets.