BASL COO Wants Airport Charges Utilized For Public Good, Airlines’ Costs Saved
The Chief Operating Officer of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of MMA2 Terminal, Lagos, Mrs. Tosan Duncan has made a case for proper utilization of airport charges for public good while saving costs for airlines and encouraging more passengers to fly.
Speaking during a panel session at the Quarter3 2023 Business Breakfast Meeting (BBM) of Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) held under the theme, Nigerian Aviation Sector Charges, Duties & Tariffs: Truly Exorbitant?, Duncan said the underlying import of the discuss was not whether there should be charges or not but the need to get cargo and passengers move from one place to another without hindrance, noting that passengers have become victims of carriers who know that passengers will always have to travel.
“Is it exorbitant or extortionate? Even if we separate the charges from one row to the other, all the reasons why a surcharge is taken, is good. That is not the issue. The question comes when we compare it with the passenger in mind on the other side? What is the experience of the passenger? How are they going to travel?,” she asked.
She cited an instance of a colleague who had to pay $790 (N1 million) for his family to fly from Abuja to Lagos. “The alternative is to drive for nine hours if they can’t fly,” she said.
Duncan said the MMA2 terminal with its 16 years vast experience in the domestic sector has had to “ringfence” these taxes, charges and fees and find a proper way to use, distribute, channel or streamline them in a way that they are used to bring in the good that they should, which is infrastructure.
She also advocated a cost saving measure for Nigeria’s airlines through a single hub system.
“Nigeria’s carriers need to breath. How do they breath?
“Let us have a single hub system for the Nigerian N5s -Nigerian registered airlines. Let’s have a single hub by which they are saving on their overheads and other expenditures because we cannot escape these taxes. If they are going to charge N120,000.00 from here to Abuja and they have to have a double hub in another part of Lagos to be able to carry a passenger to Accra or to Monrovia, they have to pay another tax, pay another fuel and so on. Let us try to save the Nigerian public money by offering a single hub system from here (Lagos). That’s another bill from here to government. Are we looking at extortionate, exorbitant or realistic charges?” asked Duncan again.
She further said looking at it from perspective of variance between international tax and domestic tax, there is a reason for each. “If we can have a single system; its one FAAN, one NCAA and so on. Let us find a way by which they know that these charges are used for the good of the Nigerian public,” she said.