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NAD speaks on LPIA fee increases

The Nassau Airport Development Company(NAD)is reassuring domestic carriers that the fee increases they will incur at the Lynden Pindling International Airport(LPIA)will be manageable–equating to a 17 cents increase per seat at the start of 2011.

“Further, the total costs to airlines and passengers at LPIA on international routes remain very competitive at 8 percent lower than the Caribbean average,”said a statement from NAD released yesterday.

Several questions have been raised regarding the fee increases at LPIA, which came into effect at the start of the year, with President of SkyBahamas Randy Butler expressing his concerns on several occasions. His most recent concern was that domestic carriers may have to alter their budgets to incorporate the increases, with a possibility of funds usually allocated for important areas being redirected to cover the costs.

The fee hikes include an increase in landing fees by 10 percent and a 3 percent rise in aircraft loading bridge fees, aircraft parking fees and terminal fees, as well as a spike in international passenger fees to$27.50 from$27.00. Even with the increases, LPIA will still be in line with the fees at other airports in the Caribbean. The move is also geared to generate more revenue that will help reduce the cost of redeveloping the airport.

Vice-president of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for NAD Paul Ward said there have been no issues raised by air carriers from a financial standpoint, and the company is taking steps to ensure none are raised in the future.

“For the past three years, there has generally been good compliance by tenants of the airport with respect to lease terms and conditions, rules and standards, fees and other considerations that support the operation of a safe, secure and user-friendly airport,”Ward said.”Every reasonable effort has been made to work with operators to enable them to be current with their obligations to NAD, however, we cannot allow operators to conduct business at LPIA indefinitely without meeting their obligations.”

NAD is expecting domestic carriers to adjust to the increases and is reminding them of the quality facilities that are being built during the$409.5 million expansion. NAD President and CEO Stewart Steeves said LPIA will be one of the top airports in the region and it will also remain affordable for its tenants.

“Upon completion of the phased redevelopment in 2013 our rates will be in line with the regional average despite being an above average facility because we will be brand new, we will be serving three distinctive sectors of traffic: US, International and Domestic, we will be using state-of-the-art technologies, and in fact LPIA will be without compare in the region, offering great value to our airline partners,”he said.

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