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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Momodou Posted - 27 Jan 2023 : 11:08:52
AIRPORT CHARGES TO GO UP
The Standard: January 27, 20230


By Alagie Manneh

https://standard.gm/airport-charges-to-go-up/

The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority has announced that it has received the go-ahead from the government to increase passenger service and security charges at the airport, including the introduction of a passenger safety levy.

In a letter to stakeholders, the GCAA said the new charges – which will come into effect on May 1st – followed a consultative meeting held with stakeholders.


“The decision to increase the Passenger Service Charge of £10 was informed by the fact that the charge has remained stagnant for the past 30 years. Therefore, considering the massive investment undertaken at the airport over the years, it is fair and economically prudent that the charge is revised upwards to enable the recovery of some cost of investment which will be ploughed back towards the continuous operation and maintenance of the airport in line with acceptable standards,” the letter said.

On the increase of security charges from £1.50 to $25 for departing and $25 per arriving passenger, the Authority stated: “It is clear that the cost of providing adequate security in the face of evolving threats has increased. As a result, the Authority proposed the increase of security charges to cover these costs which will also lead to cessation of the physical collection of Securiport charges at the airport and this will enhance efficiency in terms of aircraft turnaround as well as passenger processing times. It is worth noting that the physical collection of Securiport charges at the airport has introduced another layer to passenger facilitation leading to slow processing times for both arrivals and departures. Consequently, the increase in the charges which are already embedded in the ticket will eliminate this undesirable issue.”

The GCAA said of the Passenger Safety Levy (PSL) of $5 per departing passengers: “The introduction of this levy is meant to support the enhancement of aviation safety in the country through the payment of The Gambia’s contributions to the Banjul Accord Group Regional Safety Oversight Organisation (BAGASOO), which is a regional aviation safety oversight organisation driven by the mission to promote the highest safety standards among the Banjul Accord Group (BAG) member states. Since most of the member states do not have enough competencies for aviation safety oversight, BAGASSO was established to assist in building oversight capabilities and also perform such functions for the state where necessary. The implementation of this levy is provided for in the Civil Aviation Act 2018.”

The cumulative total of the new proposals is $15 and £3.5, the Authority said.
5   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
toubab1020 Posted - 03 Jun 2023 : 11:23:34
Agreed Momodou.

"More confusion! Legal tender in The Gambia is Dalasi so why USD?"
Momodou Posted - 02 Jun 2023 : 17:03:56
More confusion! Legal tender in The Gambia is Dalasi so why USD?


Securiport denies fee increment
The Point: Jun 2, 2023


https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/securiport-denies-fee-increment

Securiport has stated that civil aviation and border security fee at the Banjul International Airport “remains unchanged”.
The US-based company’s statement came following a press release issued on Wednesday by the Ministry of Interior that they had not given Securiport the approval to increase its airport fee.

The statement issued yesterday by the company reads: “Securiport would like to reassure the Ministry of Interior and the public that there has been no increase in the Civil Aviation and Border security fee at the Banjul International Airport. We would also like to emphasize that the fee, as agreed upon in the contract, remains at US$20 and that the change in local currency is due to the currency exchange rate.

“Currently, the exchange rate stands at D1,200 for $20, as opposed to the previous rate of D1,000 which is now $16.70. The D1,000 was collected when the exchange rate was equivalent to $20. Whether in local currency or foreign currency, the contract stipulates $20 for the Civil Aviation and Security fee.”

The company further explained that the currency exchange rate for those paying in foreign currency (US Dollars and Euro) has to be equivalent to the amount of US$20.

Securiport regrets the confusion that the ‘miscommunication’ has created, saying they are committed to their partnership with the Gambia government. The company further re-emphasized: “We have not increased the Civil Aviation and Border Security fee above the agreed $20.

“We continue to work with the Government of The Gambia to resolve the issue of the fees to finally be included in the ticket price. We understand the importance of maintaining transparency and fairness in our operations, and to that end, we are committed to engaging in thorough discussions with the Ministry of Interior to promptly rectify this miscommunication.”

Securiport reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining a strong and responsible partnership with the Gambia government.

While upholding its contractual obligations, the company vows to continue working diligently to ensure the security and safety of travellers arriving at and departing from Banjul International Airport.
Momodou Posted - 01 Jun 2023 : 12:00:42
Gov’t says Securiport not authorised to increase airport fee
The Standard: June 1, 2023


https://standard.gm/govt-says-securiport-not-authorised-to-increase-airport-fee/

The ministry of interior has expressed dismay over the decision by Securiport to increase security fees at the airport without consulting or seeking authorisation from the government.

The ministry’s statement came following complaints from travellers about the sudden increment of the fees from D1000 to D1200.

The ministry’s statement reads: “The ministry of interior learns with consternation that Securiport has increased the security fee at the Banjul International Airport from D1000 to D1,200. This increment was done without consultation or authorisation from the ministry of interior. Therefore, the security fee remains D1000 or $20 as the Gambia government has not changed the current fee. Meanwhile, the ministry of interior regrets this unfortunate development and assures citizens and travellers of its consistency in diligently fulfilling its oversight mandate to the Gambian people,” it added.


Securiport did not respond to our request for comments. The governments was greeted with more criticism by Gambians who said the entire fee should be scrapped all together.
Momodou Posted - 15 May 2023 : 20:19:32
International Air Transport Association rejects new charges at Banjul Airport
May 15, 2023


By Tabora Bojang

https://standard.gm/international-air-transport-association-rejects-new-charges-at-banjul-airport/

The International Airport Transport Association (IATA) has said the process followed by Gambian authorities to increase passenger charges at the Banjul Airport is “flawed” and “not aligned” to the user charges policies and principles of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority announced in January this year that it has received the go-ahead from the government to increase charges at the airport, which led to increase in the passenger service charge from £10 to £15, security charges from £1.50 to $25 per arriving and $25 per departing passenger and the introduction of a passenger safety levy of $5 per departing passenger.


The management said these are necessitated to enable recovery of “massive investments” at the airport, support “enhancement of aviation security” and provide “adequate security.”

But in a letter addressed to the head of the GCAA dated 10 May 2023 and seen by The Standard, IATA’s regional director of operations, safety and security for Africa, Kashif Khalid, said the fees are “deemed to be too high and add to the already numerous charges and fees that have been imposed by The Gambia”.

IATA said it engaged GCAA at the Africa Regional User Charges Workshop in Dakar in March 2023 at which it shared a spreadsheet with GCAA where financial data was to be populated for interrogation, followed by consultative meeting prior to finalisation of any of the new charges.

“This has not been shared with IATA and the airlines, and it is also not clear where we can access the audited financial performance. Whilst we appreciate the figures appended to the letter from the GCAA, this is nonetheless insufficient as we require proper information on operating expenditure, capital expenditure and traffic developments.

“The fees are deemed to be too high and add to the already numerous charges and fees that have been imposed by The Gambia. In reality, these are ‘immigration charges’ and therefore are discriminatory versus any person arriving in The Gambia by any other means of transport (for instance car, bus, boat). Safety and security remain our number one priority and cannot be compromised, and we appreciate collaborative enhancements and efficiencies in processes and infrastructure developments, but in the absence of meaningful user consultation and transparent financial information, the airline industry is not in a position to evaluate and appreciate the cost-relation between the provision of the new safety services and the level and structure of related fees.

“IATA’s position remains that the industry should not be charged for security as this is a state’s responsibility and for the new safety fee and the PSC increase, the rationale behind the levels still need to be provided, as well as the breakdown of the activities to be funded over the respective oversight areas. We are also yet to agree on the requested performance indicators that need to be put in place to measure the quality of service, productivity, and cost effectiveness of the measures. We again implore The GCAA to conduct a due and proper consultative process in alignment and adherence to the aviation industry principles,” the IATA letter stated.
Momodou Posted - 10 Feb 2023 : 21:29:29
Gambia Tourism Board
AWB 89/452/01 (26)
9th February, 2023

The Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Tourism and Culture
The Quandrangle
Banjul

Dear Madam PS,

SIGNIFICANT CONCERNS ON THE INCREASE OF PASSENGER SERVICE AND SECURITY CHARGES AND INTRODUCTION OF PASSENGER SAFETY LEVY AT THE BANJUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

On the instruction of the Governing Body (Board of Directors) of the Gambia Toursim Board, we would like to bring to your kind attention about a recent circular from the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) informing all stakeholders both local and international of a new tariff at the Banjul International Airport effective 1st May, 2023.
As you already know our industry is still grabbling with the noise/impact concerning the USD40 (USD20 inbound and USD20 outbound for all passengers) through the SECURIPORT since it’s inception two years ago. Consequently, introducing new charges at the airport will certainly affect the strategy being put in place to quickly return to our industry to normalcy and beyond.

The break downs of the charges are below:
A. Increase of passenger service charge (PSC) from £10 to £15
B. Increase of security charges from £1.50 to $25 per departing and $25 per arriving passengers
C. Introduction of Passenger safety levy (PSL) of $5 per departing passenger.
D. I’m summary, the cumulative total of the new proposal is $15 and £3.5.

You will recall that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Gambia Tourism Board have been engaging stakeholders both local and international and we have since registered some gains for the coming seasons and as we write this letter we continue to receive threats of cancellation of planned flight to the destinations as you can find below;
A. The Gambia Tourism Board already approved joint marketing activities with the NORDIC LEISURE GROUP (Vings) to restart its flight operations to the Gambia after being absent for more than 2 years with Airbus 330 from October weekly from Helsinki-Arlanda-Banjul with a total load factor of 9000 passengers for 2023. They have indicated that with this charges they will not be able to operate as planned unless a swift action is taken
B. Gambia Experience was planning to increase its flight frequencies to three.
C. TUI UK was planning to increase its flight operations from four to five per week.
D. Rainbow Tours was putting in place for two flights per week from Poland.
E. Brussels Airlines were looking into increasing its five flights per week to 6 flights per week to the Gambia.
F. TUI Holland was planning to increase from two flights per week to three
G. Corendon is planning to increase its flight operations from three to four times a week.
H. Bunts Canaries is planning to restart its flight operations to the Gambia from Spain after two years.

In addition to the above, TAP Portugal is stopping its operations from March till October in addition to the uncertainty of AIR FRANCE’s continuous operations to the Gambia four times a week.

It is important to indicate that all the tour operators and airlines currently operating or planned to operate in the Gambia had expressed their concern of the increment of charges at the Banjul International Airport (BIA) which will affect their sales and operations to the Gambia.

Furthermore, any lack of flight operations to the destination Gambia will affect all tourism and Hospitality Establishments in the Gambia which will have grave impact on employment in the tourism Industry and the ability to continue our mandate to promote destination Gambia as the ideal tourism destination in Africa.

Finally, we would like to please encourage the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to engage the relevant authorities in order to address this concern as it will significantly affect our development plan to push tourism to the highest level possible.
Whilst thank you in advance, we respectfully submit for your kind information and necessary intervention.

Yours Sincerely,
Gambia Tourism Board,
Abubacarr S. Camara
Director General

Cc: Chairman, Board of Directors, Gambia Tourism Board
Chairman, Gambia Hotel Association
Chairperson, Tourism and Travel Association of The Gambia
Chairman, Ground Operators Association

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