Ministry of Transport supports review of airport company service fees
A Deputy Transport Minister, Hassan Tampuli, has backed the Ghana Airport Company’s (GACL) request to revise its user fees and services upwards to enable it to maintain the new airports that are springing up across the country. .
“The government is committed to improving the aviation sector to ensure that the country becomes an aviation hub, however, one of the key agencies responsible for planning, development, management and maintenance of all airports and airfields in Ghana -GACL is pushing for a review of its Airport Passenger Service Charge (APSC) in order to properly maintain and efficiently manage the new airports being developed in some areas,” did he declare.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of a one-day visit to Kumasi and Tamale airports by leaders and members of the Parliamentary Roads and Transport Committee, and officials of GACL, headed by the Sector Minister , Hassan Tampuli, he said “now the APSC income for Accra is also under loan facility so the payment is more or less used to amortize these loans so we need surplus funds to maintain these facilities.
He therefore emphasized the need for a sustained revenue stream, even itemizing it in the budget and the purpose for which it was going to be used.
He said the ministry was pleased that the leaders and members of the House Roads and Transport Committee appreciated that the GHC5 which featured in the price increase for domestic air travel was woefully inadequate.
Mr Tampuli said: ‘So we appreciate that they recognize it needs to be reconsidered, so they asked that we come with a justification document so we can go through the numbers and see if there is any justification.”
Mr. Tampuli also explained that “we haven’t moved into these facilities yet, in order not to get to a point where it would be difficult to maintain the facility, we need to be proactive and get a revenue stream built into the price increases long before these airports open.
“We need to be ahead of the curve and get a stable revenue stream and I think when Parliament resumes recess, those are matters that will be considered at the next meeting.”
Chairman of the House Roads and Transport Committee, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, urged the ministry and GACL officials to submit to the committee the law requiring them to review user fees and charges.
He expressed concern about the paltry amount charged by GACL to domestic passengers “now they use to charge GHC5 for all of our domestic airports, [Ho,Wa, Tamale] each passenger passing through a national airport.
“All international passengers are charged $200 at Terminal 3, and that’s the money they use to support domestic airports, how can you have such a viable and vibrant domestic facility?” he asked.
“I asked them to bring back the law so we can change it, they shouldn’t charge less than 50ghc to maintain this airport. But we want them to run the numbers with us and justify it.
“I can assure you that if we don’t look for a source of income to maintain it, in less than a year all these beautiful buildings will fall apart,” he said.
GACL Chief Executive Pamela Djamson Tettey said the company was committed to moving forward with APSC and also working closely with the Sector Minister to ensure GACL meets Parliament at its recovery to achieve the goal.
Ranking Member of Parliament’s Select Committee, Kwame Governs Agbodza, advised the GACL to be more innovative in raising funds to support national airports without recourse to the government.
Both Kumasi and Tamale airports are nearing completion and are expected to be fully handed over within the next year, according to GACL management.