NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas is estimated to have collected nearly $43 million in airspace fees for the 2022/2023 fiscal year, a sum which is expected to be higher based on the faster-than-expected recovery in air traffic movements according to Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper.
Cooper, the Tourism, Aviation and Investments Minister, gave a communication to Parliament yesterday on the complaints by airspace users over this nation’s overflight fees.
He noted that in April 2021, an air navigation services agreement was signed with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), under which the FAA agreed to continue to deliver air navigation services in respect of approximately 75 percent of The Bahamas’ upper airspace, at no cost.
Cooper noted that the FAA instead elected to charge an annual fixed administrative fee of $80,000 to cover the provision of aircraft track data used by the Bahamas Air Navigation Services Authority (BANSA) to produce billing invoices. He said that the execution of this outsourcing of Air Navigation Services to the US recognizes The Bahamas’ current inability to provide these services and the expressed intent to build capacity over the coming years to enable it to provide these services directly. The third key agreement was executed, in July 2021, with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to provide collection services for the new aviation fees.
According to Cooper, for the fiscal year 2022/23, airspace fees under the scheme were estimated at $42.925 million—although it is expected to be higher based on the faster-than-expected recovery in air traffic movements. Between May 2021 and November 2022, fees invoiced under the airspace scheme totaled $49.693 million—of which $44.693 represented overflight fees; $4.452 million origin/destination fees, and $1.329 million was for the passenger levy. Total fees collected through November 2022 is $42.682 million, with receivables at $6.463 million.