The Belize Airport's Authority announces the implementation of its Airport Development Fee which will take effect on April 1, 2004. Rumors is being widely circulated that Non-Belizeans will have to pay a US$35.00 departure tax as of Thursday April 1st when departing the country via the P.S.W. Goldson International Airport.
Yesterday, BTIA's Executive Director Mr. Andrew Godoy spoke to Mr. Enrique Hoare of the Belize Airport's Authority who confirmed that on April 1, 2004 there will be a new fee added that is payable only by non-nationals. Mr. Hoare added that this new fee is for the airport development and will be called the airport development fee. It is a US$15.00 increase that will be added to the current US$20.00 departure tax that is being charged to non nationals. So then, non-nationals leaving Belize via the P.G.I.A. will have to pay a total of US$35.00 starting April 1, 2004.
According to Enrique Hoare, the airport management have plans to start with this fee which will be payable at the point of departure; however, within a month's time, their plans is to incorporate this fee into the ticket sale so that it becomes an invisible fee. It will come in under taxes payable when you purchase your ticket. Mr. Hoare concluded that this fee is the lowest in the region and that it has become necessary to offset the huge investments the authority is putting into the expansion or the airport terminal building and runways which is to start in the next few months.
BTIA members and industry stakeholders are urged to share your comments or concerns on this matter with us so we can make a reply to the relevant bodies on this new departure fee. You are invited to forward your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of the week.
Doug & Maria Podzun