Nov 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka's government has decided to increase aircraft navigation facility charges on foreign flights by 57 percent after 38 years.
Announcing the new tariffs at a press conference held at the Ministry of Transport today (14), Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Arjuna Ranatunga said the decision was taken in keeping with the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) policies for the determination of air navigation charges.
He said that with the revision of the charges Sri Lanka will earn an additional income of Rs. 813 million annually.
Airline Navigation Facilities and Service Charges are fees charged by a country for foreign aircraft flying over the country's airspace. Charges are also a major source of foreign exchange for a country in the aviation sector.
In Sri Lanka, Civil Aviation authority under the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation is entrusted with charging the air navigation fees.
The last time the Civil Aviation authority revised the fees were in 1981. It is noteworthy that these fees were revised after 38 years.
According to Minister Ranatunga, about 125 flights are using Sri Lankan air space. Earlier Sri Lanka collected a daily income of Rs. 3.9 million from providing Sri Lankan air space and services amounting to an annual income of Rs. 1412.6 million.
"With the new tariff revision, the daily payments will increase to Rs.6.1 million and the annual income will increase to Rs. 2225.6 million. It will be a 57 percent increase," the Minister said.
Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that the funds will be utilized primarily for the development of the domestic airports and its associated development.
"Our airspace is twenty times larger than our country. That air space is a source of wealth. But no one had tried to take advantage of it before. Especially, in comparison to countries like India, our country's air traffic facilities and service charges were very low. We lost a lot of foreign exchange. But after a long effort we were able to increase these charges," Minister Ranatunga said.
The new tariff will be effective from next February, he added.
"There is a great demand for our airspace due to the increased activity of Indian airspace. Therefore we expect income from these charges will be increased further in the future."
Transport Ministry Secretary L.P Jayampathi, Additional Secretary Sunil Gunawardane, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Chairman Ananda Wimalasena, CAA Director General H.M.C. Nimalsiri, Airport and Airport & Aviation Services Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga and other Ministry officials participated in the meeting.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation said the air navigation facility and its quality have been upgraded after 1981 as follows.
•Secondary Surveillance Radar Cover
•Performance-Based Air Navigation
•Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C)
•Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Broad Cast (ADS-B)
•Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDC) System
•State-of-the-art ATM Integrated system
•Aero-Mobile Communication Console System
Newly calculated overflying charges will increase National Revenue as follows: