By Alagie Manneh
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.