Private jet owners begin ‘strike’ over new aviation price regime

Unmarkeed airplane

Private jet owners in the country yesterday commenced an indefinite strike over a directive from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) announcing a new price regime for all private airlines operating in the country.

In a circular dated November 18, 2013, and  signed  by  the agency’s director of operations, Mr J.C. Onyegiri, on behalf of the managing director, all  foreign  registered aircraft  engaging in non-scheduled operations were directed  to pay  the sum of $3,000 fees for every departure except  round trips without  changes  in passenger manifest or return  ferry. Such fees, NAMA maintained, must be paid in advance and before any departure.

The circular further directed all Nigerian aircraft engaging in non-scheduled operations to pay the sum of $2,500 as fees except round trips without changes in passenger manifest, or return ferry adding that such fees must be paid in advance and before any departure.

According to the circular, the fees shall include landing, parking, navigational and terminal navigational charges and shall be in respect of the first 10 hours after which additional parking charges may apply.

Earlier, the tariff on private jet or charter operations was not unified, and each agency was expected to collect its own fees. For instance, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria collects tariffs on landing and parking, while the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) charges its navigational fees which is based on their operations.

According to industry sources, the FAAN collects about $320 for overnight stay of the jets at the airport and about $10, 000 monthly on parking fees on a jet from those who do not have private terminals.  However, the fee charged for landing depends on the aircraft’s weight and the time it lands at an airport.

According to statistics obtained from FAAN’s website, the rate varies for day landing, $0.00909/kg; night landing, $0.01364/kg.  Parking for the first three hours does not attract any fee. For the Gulfstream G450 aircraft, with landing weight of 29,935kg, the airport authority would charge the owner about $273 or its naira equivalent for day landing, while it would take $408 for night landing.

When the spokesman for NAMA  Supo Atobatele was contacted to speak on what the agency collected from the private jet operators before the introduction of the current tariff, he said the current tariff was new and includes all the charges like landing and parking, and navigational fee and it has been introduced  as a means of increasing the revenue generation of aviation agencies.

Efforts to get speak with Yakubu Dati, spokesman for the aviation agencies, did not yield result.

The  new directive took effect from yesterday.

Read more: Leadership Newspapers

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