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Uniform airport clearance fees right decision

14 April 2005

Uniform airport clearance fees right decision

“The government has made the right decision in proposing a uniform charge for passenger clearance costs at all New Zealand’s international airports”, Local Government New Zealand’s Transport spokesperson Graeme Weld said.

“Initially the government was proposing a two-tier charging system for metropolitan and regional airports. We believed that this was inconsistent with government policies on transport, tourism and regional economic development and would have been very restrictive for places such as Queenstown with burgeoning international services.

“We congratulate the Government for moving back to a single uniform charge for all passenger clearance services across all airports. Security, biosecurity, customs, and immigration services are of national benefit and need to be funded uniformly.

“It is an excellent solution for our regional airports that are developing international services and using new services to stimulate economic development. Any other option for these airports would have severely affected regional growth.

“The Government was also proposing that any new international airport would have to meet the full costs of all government services. These charges would have severely limited regional development as strong growth in tourism and air cargo traffic are key drivers for the economy and employment.

“The policy has now been changed so new entrants will only have to carry full passenger clearance costs for one year. After that they will be brought into the funding regime as long as they meet the threshold of 9000 departing passengers a year”, said Mr Weld.

The new framework for passenger clearance services was announced yesterday by the Minister of Finance and comes into effect on 1 October.

ENDS

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