African airlines call for lifting of aviation taxes
The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has called for reduced charges and taxes on fuel, airport development levies and airport user fees in conformity with air transport rules passed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The Nairobi-based airlines association said in a statement issued on Saturday its general assembly approved a resolution calling upon the governments of Africa to reduce the taxes and airport user fees to conform to the nature of services offered at airports.
The resolution urged ministers responsible for civil aviation to immediately brief the ministers of finance on the relevant ICAO taxation rules.
The ICAO rules provide explanations on the rationale behind the airport taxation policies and taxes applied in the aviation sector.
“The general assembly was dedicated to the discussions on how to fully implement the Single African Air Transport Market, a plan by the AU to speed up the implementation of the Yamoussoukro protocol on the liberalisation of the African airspace,’’ AFRAA said.
According to AFRAA, the plans to fully lift controls on the frequency of flights, granting African airlines extended air traffic rights and harmonising the air safety regulations across Africa, is considered critical to speed up the take-off of the African aviation industry.
Abderahmane Berthe, AFRAA secretary general, said the aviation was a critical economic driver, which required all stakeholders to ensure the sector realize its full potential.
He said in order to fully unlock the immense potential of the aviation sector, there was need to consider the involvement of youthful workforce.
The assembly also called African governments to facilitate youth development in aviation through affordable training and education for safe and secure aviation in Africa.
It advised African governments to encourage member airlines to prioritise youth development through their actions and put in place necessary programmes to bring this about.
The assembly urged airports managers to adhere to ICAO principle of user consultation in the determination and fixing of charges and fees and to ensure that they are commensurate with the level of service delivered.
It called on African governments to re-invest taxes relating to air travel in developing and equipping airports as recommended by ICAO. (Xinhua/NAN)