Expert backs call for airport passenger service charge hike

Sean Mendis, aviation expert

An aviation expert has backed calls by the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) for an increase in the current GH¢5 passenger service charge paid per passenger for domestic flights.

Sean Mendis, an aviation expert, said the proposed increase is long overdue and is the safest way for the GACL to operate and maintain various airports across the country.

“Airlines have been pushing for an increase in domestic APSC for GACL for years. Lack of funding is why GACL cannot afford to keep air conditioning running or runway lights or other basic facility maintenance and staffing needs required. [at various domestic airports].

“Increase GH¢5 to GH¢10 and it’s a tiny fraction of the ticket price, but it’s a doubling of their operating budget. As long as they use the funds to actually support airport operations , this is a good thing.

As reported by AviationGhana, GACL, a state-owned limited liability company responsible for managing all state-funded civilian airports in the country, is seeking an upward adjustment to the APSC, to enable them to maintain new airports being built in various parts of the country.

Their proposal should be submitted to the select parliamentary committee on transport when parliament resumes.

This has become imperative as the APSC generated primarily from international travel through Kotoka International Airport’s Terminal 3 is tied to a US$250 million loan secured from a consortium of banks led by Ecobank Capital by the GACL on the back of its balance sheet for the construction of the terminal.

“Now the APSC income for Accra is also under a loan facility, so the payment is more or less used to amortize those loans. We need surplus funds to be able to maintain these [Kumasi and Tamale] facilities. So we need a sustained revenue stream, even detailed in the budget for which it will be used,” Hassan Tampuli, deputy transport minister, told media during a visit to Kumasi and Tamale airports.

Mr. Tampuli, who was part of a delegation comprising members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport and GACL management, which inspected work in progress at Kumasi and Tamale airports, added that “For us at the Department of Transport, we are delighted that the leadership and members of the Committee appreciate that the GHC 5 we have in increasing prices for domestic air travel is woefully inadequate and needs to be saw again.

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