New fee on outbound international flights

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority is reminding passengers that a new fee of CI$13 will be added to tickets purchased for all outward bound international passengers from the Cayman Islands.

This applies to all passengers flying out of Owen Roberts International Airport and the General Aviation Terminal (Grand Cayman) and Gerrard-Smith International Airport (Cayman Brac) effective 1 January, 2009.

A press release noted that the new fee, called the ‘Passenger Facilities Charge’, will be added to tickets purchased for all outward bound international passengers, excluding crew and children under two years of age.

The PFC will not apply to domestic travel between the three islands and will be collected by airlines, which will then remit the proceeds to the Airports Authority.

The introduction of the PFC was announced by the CIAA in late July following the publication of The Airports Authority (Charges) Regulations, 2008, in the Government Gazette.

According to Jeremy Jackson, the CIAA’s newly-appointed chief executive officer, ‘Our two airports currently process approximately 800,000 passengers annually. In order for the main terminal at Owen Roberts International to cope with the increase in passenger and aircraft movements, it is critical that the CIAA develop funding to continue ongoing and capital improvements of our facilities and services to maintain the competitiveness of the Cayman Islands as a top tourist destination.’

The fee is sanctioned by the Airports Council International, the global association for airport operators. In 2006, the CIAA joined ACI’s Latin American and Caribbean arm, ACI-LAC, which represents the interests of approximately 60 airport operators from the region, said the press release.

Representatives from the CIAA regularly participate in general assemblies and seminars organized by ACI-LAC. According to ACI, airports must be able to collect sufficient revenues to carry out their functions efficiently, and to maintain a level of service which is acceptable to users, to support the economic interests of the community based on the investments needed to meet forecast demand, the release noted.

It is understood the Cayman Islands is one of the last destinations to implement such a charge, said the press release.

The new fee will be added to tickets purchased for all outward bound international passengers, excluding crew and children under two years of age.

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