Airport tariffs would increase by 34.8% in the 2011/12 financial year, with increases capped at 37% in the following two financial years, Regulating Committee member Unathi Mntonintshi said on Thursday.
Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) would implement the 34.8% increase on October 1, and reiterated that tariff hikes were unavoidable.
The passenger service fee, inclusive of value-added tax, which would probably result in higher-priced tickets, would be R110 for domestic flights, R227 for regional flights and R299 for international flights.
The announcement by the Department of Transport (DoT), in Pretoria, on Thursday, followed on from the appointment of a task team in September by Minister Sibusiso Ndebele on the way forward regarding the impasse between Acsa and the Regulating Committee regarding the 2010/11 to 2014/15 permission cycle.
Director-general George Mahlalela said the tariffs were adjusted on June 30, to avoid a further burden on the industry, and pointed to a road map to deal with the shortcomings in the current economic regulatory framework of the regulated entities.
He told Engineering News Online that the road map and possible new regulations for the civil aviation industry would seek to ensure that no contestation with regard to tariffs occurred in future, and would play a key role in facilitating the implementation of an integrated transport master plan.
The road map, said Acsa executive director Priscillah Mabelane, was a step in the right direction. “The future of Acsa and the aviation industry requires open, candid, yet robust engagement in order to safeguard its sustainability and balance the interest of stakeholders.”
The road map is expected to be complete by December, in support of the next permission cycle to start in 2012. A steering committee chaired by Mahlalela and comprising key representatives of industry would meet twice bi-weekly and would be assisted by a project team.
Acsa welcomed the commitment made by the department that, as part of the overall review process, a mechanism would be found by December to address the outstanding issues in time for the tariff adjustment in 2012.
Meanwhile, Mahlalela advocated for a new full-time transport economic regulator to drive efficiency, coordination and planning, and which would strike a balance between the different regulators in South Africa’s transport industry and help grow the economy.
The DoT has allocated R66-billion over the next year to transport infrastructure, and R80-billion by 2013/14, in its drive to radically change transport infrastructure in South Africa, and to create job and tourism opportunities, Mahlalela said.