Original plan was to levy higher charges for airport users

The new airport development levy for travellers will start from July 1, and will be collected by airlines as part of the total air fare.
The new airport development levy for travellers will start from July 1, and will be collected by airlines as part of the total air fare.PHOTO: ST FILE

The initial plan was to charge each traveller departing from Changi Airport $12 and half the amount for those in transit, as part of a new tax to help fund a massive airport expansion project. But after listening to industry feedback, the Government decided to reduce the fee to $10.80 and $3, respectively.

Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng disclosed this in Parliament yesterday in reply to Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC), who had asked if the Government received any feedback after announcing the higher charges last month.

The new airport development levy for travellers will start from July 1, and will be collected by airlines as part of the total air fare. Those departing from Changi Airport will have to pay $13.30 more, which includes a $2.50 increase in the airport's passenger service and security fee.

For airlines, aircraft landing, parking and aerobridge fees will increase by 1 per cent on July 1. The charges will again increase by 1 per cent annually on April 1 for the next six years, with the last on April 1, 2024.

Airlines have expressed concerns about the impending increases at Changi Airport. Other airports, for example in Hong Kong and Dubai, have introduced similar charges to fund expansion projects.

Mr Ng stressed that the Government will bear the majority of the costs for the Changi East development and had carefully considered the impact to Changi's competitiveness from the higher charges.

Karamjit Kaur

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2018, with the headline 'Original plan was to levy higher charges for airport users'. Print Edition | Subscribe