Nassau Airport Proposes $28-Per-Passenger Fee For GA Aircraft

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The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) is proposing a $28-per-passenger airport improvement fee (AIF) for general aviation aircraft passengers arriving from international locations at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA). The fee does not apply to international or domestic commercial carrier passengers.

NAD says its methodology and application of the fee are consistent with ICAO’s Policies on Charges for Airports and Air Navigation Systems. LPIA typically has a mix of 60 percent commercial traffic and 40 percent GA. NAD said that all GA operations at the airport accounted for an average of only 11 percent of total aeronautical revenue respectively in FY 2018, 2019 and 2020 (excluding NAD’s passenger facilities charge).

The proposed AIF fee will be used for planned investments at the airport, anticipated to amount to some $30 million for airside infrastructure improvements such as pavement surfaces and lighting, according to NAD.

In a statement, the company wrote: “Management continues to take steps to meet the NAD’s operating and required capital expenditure programs, fund debt service requirements, and comply with financial covenants as The Bahamas recovers from the current pandemic. The new fee allows GA to contribute more fairly towards NAD’s maintenance of a strong financial position. Further, the fee will help NAD meet its debt service and financial covenant obligations, and for NAD to fund important regulatory, security, maintenance, and capital projects to ensure efficient and safe airport operations.”

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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13 COMMENTS

    • The Citation passengers this is aimed at won’t even notice, except eventually they might notice the runway is smoother. For the 182 or Mooney set, it’s a $56 fee to help improve the airport. Annoying perhaps but are you really going to skip your trip to Nassau over $56? (I’m assuming two people of course. If you had four, where would you put the raft? That’s a lot of blue to fly over without one.)

  1. All government speech must now be very carefully parsed. The decline in quality of basic reporters has led to all sorts of official trickery going unnoticed.

    With that in mind, 11% of aeronautical revenue means what? Tax revenue or total revenue or some estimate? And, what is the impact of the GA flights vs airline flights on the facility and labor costs? What costs are specifically associated with each? Is this more blip is a blip nonsense where a 737 which the entire system and facilities are designed around counts the same as a Cirrus who is squeezed in when able, parked wherever, and overall treated like a 2nd class citizen? Seems to me those alphabet organizations mentioned generally slant things heavily in favor of the airlines. I cannot imagine the cost of putting in a runway for passenger service on an island just to start, but I bet dollars to donuts that side of the equation gets sorted out by aircraft regardless of size.

  2. “NAD says its methodology and application of the fee are consistent with ICAO’s Policies on Charges for Airports and Air Navigation Systems.” I’ve flown GA airplanes to 83 countries around the world. ICAO airports in many of these countries have very little to benefit GA airplanes–yet the bureaucracy is NOT something to be proud of. Dozens of bureaucrats “enforcing” overly-complex laws–and collecting fees. Fees for weather briefings, fees for landing, fees for parking, air traffic control fees–and fees for which there is NO explanation. Rule of thumb at many European and South American airports–“you will be hard-pressed to depart within 2 hours of arrival at the airport, by the time you cover all the required paperwork and fees.”

    ” LPIA typically has a mix of 60 percent commercial traffic and 40 percent GA. NAD said that all GA operations at the airport accounted for an average of only 11 percent of total aeronautical revenue respectively in FY 2018, 2019 and 2020 (excluding NAD’s passenger facilities charge).” BUT, it ISN’T GA that is requiring all of the “$30 million in airside infrastructure” mentioned below. Most GA airplanes would happily skip the miles of concrete, terminals, and ramps needed by the airlines.

    “The proposed AIF fee will be used for planned investments at the airport, anticipated to amount to some $30 million for airside infrastructure improvements such as pavement surfaces and lighting, according to NAD.”

    Pavement surfaces already mentioned. Lighting? Aren’t single engine night flights still prohibited there?

    It goes to the old adage–“If you want MORE of something, ENCOURAGE IT. If you wand LESS of something, TAX IT!

      • They don’t think that, they think that it will gain support because it’s a tax on hated rich people. When they changed the tax laws on training and personal use it was all about bizjets which have continued to sell well while it destroyed the ability for many small businesses to effectively use a prop plane. High performance aircraft sales and values tanked.

  3. A check with AOPA for fees in the Bahamas show they are ALREADY charging a number of fees:

    Landing fees $4 for up to 4000 pounds–$6 for up to 6000 pounds, $11 for up to 14,000 pounds.
    Parking fees all airports $4 per day (under 10,000 pounds) payable to airport, (may be additional ramp fees at FBO)
    Ramp fees (unspecified) are charged in Nassau and Freeport
    Each AIRCRAFT is charged a $50 Customs fee.
    All PERSONS pay a $29 departure fee, including pilot and co-pilot

    Thankfully, unlike many countries, they don’t charge an ATC Enroute fee, or a fee for weather briefings and filing flight plans–those are handled by Miami Center and US FSS.

    • They did want to charge for ATC services, then we reminded them it was a US maintained ATC facilities they were using to charge US citizens for entry.
      The reason Miami Center has radar facilities down the island chain is to keep the airways open to Porto Rico. Not sure it is needed anymore. But, if the US government leaves the Bahamas it will become the Wild East of drug smuggling again.

    • I’m not impressed by the Bahamas anymore. It use to be a nice remote island paradise where they were happy you were there to spend money. Now they aren’t happy unless they can charge you a fee.
      There are so many nicer places to visit in America. Even a flight through the Florida Keys is better now.

  4. Unfortunately, the multiple fees and the runaround are common in much of the world. Government believes they have to “control” things like aviation–to the point where people DO boycott the country. The airlines also have to knuckle under for the fees and paperwork–fortunately, they pass the fees on to the customer, and they “have people to take care of the paperwork.”

    The U.S. is GETTING that way–more and more regs that serve no purpose, and more and more paperwork and “though shalt not” bureaucracy–witness the compounding bureaucracy–the stifling of the industry (enough that the U.S. has lost its title of “Aircraft manufacturer for the world”–and the numerous fees just for the “privilege” of landing in a city or patronizing a business.

    In the past, people (including pilots) would have refused to knuckle under. Today, it’s the same gesture as the rest of the world–“What are ya’ gonna’ DO?” (pockets turned out and hands up?”

  5. I use to have to go there every week when I maintained the airspace systems for Miami Center. I remember when they began charging ‘departure fees’ in the early 90s when US customs moved onto Freeport and Nassau… the fee was to pay for facilitating the new US facilities, so they had no problem charging US travelers. The fees went wild after that. Hotel fees for pools, cleaning, etc…
    There once was a time when they were just happy Americans were arriving to spend money. Now they aren’t happy unless they can charge a fee, then they are happy. It use to be a nice kind of remote island paradise. I don’t see any reason to go there now. Everything is already over priced. Many better places to fly to.