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Increase to aviation security charges

Increase to aviation security charges

The need to maintain a high level of aviation security is behind an increase in international and domestic aviation passenger security charges, Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven said today.


The need to maintain a high level of aviation security is behind an increase in international and domestic aviation passenger security charges, Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven said today.

"It is essential that we have a high level of aviation security to meet the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

"In today's heightened security environment, this rise in aviation passenger security charges is a small price to pay for safety," said Mr Duynhoven.

The international aviation security charge will rise from $12.56 to $15.00 per departing international passenger, while the charge for domestic travel increases from $3.57 to $4.66. The new charges come into effect on 13 December 2007.

"The charges reflect the rising costs of doing business in the aviation security sector. A portion of the increase will fund new security services which have been prompted by recent amendments to aviation security legislation, including the screening of airport workers due to start in early 2008.

"It is essential that our international partners have complete confidence in New Zealand's standard of aviation security. Without this level of confidence, we cannot retain the vital air links this country needs.

"The passenger security charges fund the Aviation Security Service which provides aviation security services at New Zealand's airports. The Service does a very good job of ensuring that security requirements are met, while at the same time enabling passengers to travel with a minimum of fuss and disruption," said Mr Duynhoven today.

Aviation Security Charges - Questions and Answers


What are aviation passenger security charges?

These are the charges levied for aviation security services at New Zealand's international and domestic airports.

Services include passenger screening, screening of hold baggage, airport perimeter security, explosive detection dog teams, screening of airport workers (from early 2008) and other aviation security services. The Aviation Security Service (Avsec) provides this service.

Who pays the charges?

The domestic charge is levied per passenger on aircraft flying within New Zealand that seat 90 or more people. The international charge is levied per passenger on airlines departing New Zealand. Most airlines choose to pass the charges on to passengers through the ticket price.

How much are the charges rising?

The charge for domestic travel will increase from $3.57 to $4.66 (GST incl.) per passenger travelling on aircraft with 90 or more seats. The charge for international travel will increase by $12.56 to $15.00 (GST incl.) per passenger. These charges are set for the next three years.

Why are the charges being increased?

The charges are being increased to meet the costs of providing aviation security services over the next three years.

Weren't the international charges increased recently?

The international charge was increased on 31 March 2007 to cover the costs of the liquids, aerosols and gels screening that had been mandated by the Australian Government. A small component also covered the cost of introducing explosive trace detection for hand baggage. The charge rose from $8.31 to $12.56. However, this increase did not cover other increased staffing and operating costs.

What about the domestic charge?

There has been no increase to the domestic charge since 2005.

Is the increase a result of the recent amendments to aviation security legislation?

While some of the increased costs are due to new security services required under the changes to aviation security legislation, the majority are simply due to the increased costs of doing business in the aviation security sector.

Was there wide consultation on the increase?

Avsec consulted widely with industry and government groups. This covered the aviation industry, including the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), individual airlines, the New Zealand Airports Association and individual airports; tourism and travel organisations, and other interested groups.

Could the Aviation Security Service review its costs rather than increase the charges?

Avsec runs a very efficient business. It could not reduce costs without impacting on the level of aviation security provided in New Zealand. Aviation security standards are mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization and New Zealand has to meet these in order to comply with our international obligations.
The Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), which represents all airlines flying into New Zealand, scrutinises Avsec's operations annually. This enables BARNZ to be confident that Avsec's operations are running efficiently. An agreement between BARNZ and Avsec allows a review of the charge to be initiated if the charges are returning greater revenue than is required to provide security services.


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