GMR to begin charging US$25 development fee to departing passengers

GMR will begin charging international passengers a US$25 (Rf385.5) Airport Development Charge (ADC) at the departure check-in counters of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport for all flights scheduled after 12 am on January 1, 2012.

The fee was previously approved by the government as part of its contract with GMR, said State Transport Minister Adil Saleem.

“This is supposed to be standard procedure in most airports, but I’m not sure that all airports do it. It may depend on their development status. Sometimes it’s collected with the ticket price,” said GMR Head of Corporate Communications Mahika Chandrasena.

To incorporate the fee into ticket prices, International Air Transport Association (IATA) must provide a specialised code to airlines. IATA has not provided these codes.

Local airline operators allegedly informed GMR last week that without IATA’s permission they could not charge the fee internally.

Administrative Manager for Maldivian Airlines Ali Nashad Ahmed said the airline was “still seeking advice from Civil Aviation on how to proceed” with fees and customer relations due to the change. The airline expects to receive further instructions within the next week.

According to Chandrasena, the mechanism to incorporate the fee into ticket prices will be installed in the near future. Until then, GMR will charge the fee separate from airline tickets as per government regulations.

Immigration and customs authorities have supported the move, said Chandrasena, although the public is disgruntled at the higher price. “The fee is actually low compared to other airports,” said Chandrasena. “In Indonesia the fee is somewhere around US$50.”

Deputy Director General of the Civil Aviation Department Hussein Jaleel today said he didn’t know why IATA had refused the code, but that the department was recommending that the fee be charged at point of sale.

“It is more convenient for the passengers,” he said. “Some airports charge the fee separately, so this not peculiar to the Maldives. But our recommendation is to include the fee in the ticket price itself, so passengers only have to make one payment,” Jaleel said.

All passengers except those holding Maldivian passports and work visas will be expected to pay the amount in US dollars. The boarding pass will be issued after payment.


13 thoughts on “GMR to begin charging US$25 development fee to departing passengers”

  1. We paid $10 or was if Mrf 10 before?

    This is not the issue. The issue is if Minivan is not competing with haveeru online or sun online etc in providing sensationalist biased drivel in real time, one would expect a better analysis and in-depth reporting.

    The elephant is the room roars out the question, "Is GMR having the cake and eating it too?"

  2. Hmmmm.....let's think of more ways to get money from the public.....what about taking a development fee for developing the minds of Maldivians?

  3. This is daylight robbery. GMR has hiked fuel price, landing price & now they are hitting the public. They haven’t done much and they will under investment with corrupt inflated pricing. No one is monitoring their investment. People power..let’s protest, disrupt, boycott (if possible). I call on MDP ordinary folks to join. If not, PPM, DRP. Yellow, pink or blue does not matter. This is Indians stealing our money.

  4. @wtf.... They havnt done me thing?????? Are u freaking blind or are u soooo biased tht u just refuse to see like every maumoonist......??

    Apart frm the minor changes to the international terminal by increasing the amount of gates, security check post and checkin counters.... Look at the revamped domestic terminal....
    And I'm sure u havnt seen the massive development taking place on the east side of the runway where the new terminal is supposed to be.... I see these changes everyday and am proud GMR is the owner of our airport!!!!
    25$ frm every pax is like 25million $ a year roughly, for 25 yrs that's like 625 million$ for a planned development of 400million $ that's a pretty sweet deal for us

  5. @wtf and every one:

    You think that's the only money they are going to make? What about all the other taxes and fees they collect? Like from selling oil and all that. $25 is way too much for a place like Maldives. Departure tax is nothing new in some airports but this is quite a lot for those who travel domestically.

  6. The departure tax for Indonesia is definitely not $50 usd. It's 150,000 rp which is about $17 usd.

    So the Maldivian fee is not low compared to other countries. But if you just throw out made up numbers, I guess it makes $25 sound better.

    The $25 fee is not unreasonable but it's on the higher end of departure taxes compared to other countries and it certainly isn't cheap.

  7. It's quite clear that GMR has pulled the wool over the government in the deal it won. We will be paying the price of this for many years.

    I value the involvement of a foreign investor in dragging this aiport into the 21st century (God, how I hate its new name). Nasir and Gayyoom both failed to adequately develop the airport. Sure enough, they threw 100s of millions of dollars at it, but there's not that much to show for it!

  8. Privatization is flawed without competition.

    One of the flaws in the privatization of Hulule airport is there is no competitor airport. So any price can be charged by the new investors.

    If free market rules are to apply, airlines operating to Maldives should have a choice between flying to Hulule vs another international airport nearby.

  9. Mr. Chandrasena is just guessing from what the article says.

    “This is supposed to be standard procedure in most airports, but I'M NOT SURE that all airports do it."

    “In Indonesia the fee is SOMEWHERE AROUND US$50.”

    Surely in this day and age it's as simple as Googling it! Idiot!

    I haven't seen the airport since GMR took over but from where I'm sitting now $25 does sound a bit pricy but I'll hold my judgement until I see the place.

    I am wondering why PC was so lenient on the terms that privatized such a prime and strategic asset belonging to the Maldivian people.

    Over 1.2 million passengers departed through the airport in 2009, this figure is set to increase in 2011,2012 and 2013 - GMR's redevelopment project is scheduled to complete in 2013 or 2014 - which means they will collect over $80-90+ million during their redevelopment phase only on Airport Development Charges (ADC).

    So i beg to question - what is the investment that they make on their own. The airport is reconstructed on equity collected at the back of the tourism industry and the people Maldivians.

    TO GMR
    To develop Delhi Airport, GMR tried to collect only Rps 200 ($3.8) and the Indian supreme court ruled against the collection of this short amount.

    An ADC of $25 is a very high amount compared to fees levied by international airports worldwide. Unfortunately there is no stopping to this because the agreement the government had given to GMR will allow ADC to be charged. We would be lucky to see some protesting but GMR has very cozy ties even with the press therefore, i doubt any major attacks will reduce the $25 fee to a more reasonable amount.

  11. GMR is going out of control in its operation of the airport. Apart from little alterations and finishing work being done of the airport buildings and structures, GMR has not so far undertaken any development work.

    The Ibrahim Nasir International Airport then Male' International Airport was leased to GMR to develop the infrastructure to provide a worldclass service to the passengers and other users of the facility. I wonder if the deal was that they collect the money first and then invest it for this development.

    It is said that the Lease Agreement was a document of more than 240 pages and that none of the signatories for the Governmment of the Maldives read it cover to cover. Obviously, therefore, they did not know what they agreed to by that agreement. Now, after announcing the Airport Development Charge (ADC) from January 2012, the GMR said they did not bid merely for the tarmac. They bid the management of the airport and develop it to an agreed standard during the tenure of the lease.

    The ADC is not of so much concern to us as are the GMR's attempts to take over the local businesses at the airport and replace the local work force with Indians. This is not acceptable to us as a country for the locals and their intrests to be treated.

    The Agreement must lay down what the GMR can and cannot do and given a clear guideline as to how they can be done. It should not have been left to their discretion how they about even what they are allowed to do in performing the Agreement.

    The opposition raised concerns about the the Government leasing the airport to GMR, but the Government went ahead with it despite the fact that some of the key oficials of the Maldives Airports Company resigned over how the Government went about it. Nor did the Government tell the public, ill-informed of most of the Government activities and policies, why the airport should be leased and how important it was.

    Now, we will know for sure what was the deal between the Government and the GMR if the Government does not intervene and prevent the GMR from removing the local businesses and work force from the airport and tell them to develop the airport first and recover the investment for development only by a development charge. If the Government dondones GMR, we must assert the people power to stop them from crrying them out.

    Justice is not expected to be delivered by only the Courts and Judges. The executive and adminitrative functions also must make sure that their activities and decisions conform to justice and fairness. It's not fair that GMR must be let develop the airport with funds from a levee on passengers. It's not acceptable that local businesses and work force be excluded and replaced with foreigners.


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