CAA to hike airport charges

CIVIL Aviation Authority (CAA) plans to increase airport charges, some by more than 50 percent next financial year.

CIVIL Aviation Authority (CAA) plans to increase airport charges, some by more than 50 percent next financial year.

Should Cabinet approve the proposed tariffs, passengers using Kigali International Airport will pay $35 (about Frw19,075), $20 more as airport tax.

The proposed fees structure is to make Kigali International Airport charge uniform but competitive fees in the Great Lakes Region.

Passengers from Comesa countries used to pay $10 airport tax while those from outside the Comesa parted with $20. But with the proposed tariffs, each passenger will now folk-out a flat $35 as airport tax.

The move, according to a CAA senior official who asked not be identified- reasoning that he is not the spokesperson- said ‘hiking of charges is meant to position the Kanombe-based facility on the world map and make the aviation regulatory body and operator self reliant in funding’.

He said the funds will be ploughed back to improve services delivery at Kigali Airport.

If approved, CAA’s internally generated revenue will double to Frw9.2 billion from the current Frw4.5 billion.

CAA is targeting to raise this money from floor space rented out to duty-free shops and Airlines companies.

Airline companies which occupy large space at the airport include: Rwandair Express, Kenya Airways, Ethiopia Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Silverback Cargo Freighters.

As of June this year, CAA collected Frw155 million from these companies as rent.

With the proposed structure, rent may increase from $20 (about Frw11,000) per square metre to $30.

Other sources of revenue at the airport include commissions on cargo and ground handling, parking charges, bank interest and over flight fees.

CAA also gets money from air service fees, navigation fees and airport services.

The regulatory body is also considering refurbishing airstrips that are currently lying idle.

These airstrips, many of which are in close proximity to important cities, may be developed this year.

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