Monday, May 9, 2011

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) Postpones Levy on Passengers

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) has backtracked on the implementation of the Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund (AIDF) levy, an extra user charge that would have seen passengers departing from local airports paying US$10 and US$30 per person for domestic and international travel respectively.
The AIDF levy was introduced on May 1 as part of the authority's efforts to raise US$400 million to upgrade local aviation infrastructure.
Passengers are already paying US$ 35 and US$ 10 per head as a service fee for international and domestic routes respectively.
These current passenger service fees are normal operating charges for services rendered to travellers from the time they enter the airport until they get into the aircraft.
n a statement at the weekend, CAAZ chief executive officer, Mr David Chawota, advised all airlines, travel agents and the travelling public and other concerned stakeholders that the implementation of the AIDF levy had been postponed.
He said postponement was a result of unforeseen logistical and administrative challenges.
"Passengers who had been charged the levy should approach the relevant airline, travel agent or airport authority for a refund.
"Airlines and travel agents who had collected AIDEF levies should not remit the funds to CAAZ but refund the passengers," he said in the statement.
Mr Chawota said that CAAZ would inform the airlines, travel agents, the travelling public and concerned stakeholders of the new implementation date in due course.
The fund was to be used for rehabilitation and modernisation of aviation infrastructure to enhance safety and security in Zimbabwe.
The fees were included on air tickets except in special circumstances where cash payment may have been required.
CAAZ had taken the new initiative to raise US$400 million in the next 10 years to rehabilitate airports and fund airspace management facilities among others. Once the aviation infrastructure was uplifted in the project, CAAZ would be able to play its critical role in the provision of services for the country's fast growing tourism sector.
Mr Chawota said last month that the authority had to play its critical facilitation role by availing necessary accessibility into the country as the best tourism market.
The upgrading and refurbishment of infrastructure at Harare International Airport started in 2002 but stalled in 2007 because of harsh economic conditions. Other airports requiring upgrading are Victoria Falls International Airport, Kariba, Joshua Nkomo International Airport, Hwange and Buffalo Range.