The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling for immediate dialogue with the management of Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation (CJIA) and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure of Guyana 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 the Timehri airport.
The continued refusal by the management of CJIA to cooperate with the IATA on both the proper calculation and implementation of new fees has been a cause for concern. According to IATA, the result of the prevailing situation is that 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, the Americas.
Passengers are now required to pay an additional US$35 or GY$7,315 (round trip) “to support improvements at the airport.” Previously, the charge was US$25. Departing passengers are required to pay an additional US$17 or GY$3,564 while arriving passengers have to pay US$15 or GY$3,144.
IATA has worldwide standards in place enabling airlines to collect government-imposed fees, service charges and taxes as part of an airline ticket. These 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.
Furthermore, IATA also seeks clarity 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,” commented Cerda.