By Nongnapas Maipanich
Airports of Thailand (AOT) must be able to justify the recently announced Bt100 increase in departure fees and consider the potential adverse impacts on passenger volume that could result, Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt warned.
When raising the passenger service charge (PSC), it is necessary to consider all the consequences, and not just AOT’s operating costs or financial performance, he said. The Department of Civil Aviation will consider the proposed increase next month.
The AOT plans to double the airport departure fee from Bt100 to Bt200 on domestic flights in mid-2014, while the fee for international departures would rise from Bt700 to Bt800.
Regardless of whether the PSC increase is approved for the six airports AOT operates, it will have no bearing on the other 28 under the supervision of the Department of Civil Aviation, including the privately run Samui Airport.
They would need the approval of that department should they wish to revise their PSC rates. It is not necessary for all airports to have the same PSC, as their operating costs are not identical, Chadchart added.
Meanwhile, AOT is negotiating employment terms and the compensation package for Makin Petplai, who will become the agency’s new president.
The transport minister wants the new AOT president to help expedite the construction work on the second-phase expansion project at Suvarnabhumi Airport, including facility upgrades to accommodate the continuing rise in passenger volume.
The new president will be reminded to manage and operate AOT in a transparent manner, Chadchart said.