PETALING JAYA: The proposed revision of Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) fees to airline operators will be implemented in stages “with a maximum one-fold increase”.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said a review was necessary because the air navigation facilities charges (ANFC) had not been revised for well over 40 years.
He noted that the Malaysian aviation industry had been heavily subsidised by the Government since the 1970s and other charges such as the issuance of Air Operators Certificate or Certificate of Airworthiness had not been revised since 1996.
“These costs and much more have continued to be subsidised by the Government. This cannot continue and, as such, the necessity for the revision in fees,” Liow said in a statement.
He said discussions with industry stakeholders would continue, led by DCA with a view towards ensuring healthy and constructive feedback that would benefit aviation ecosystem and travellers.
“I have instructed DCA to prepare a comprehensive plan for future fees and charges that will be implemented in stages in our effort to remain competitive with neighbouring countries.
“In fact, Malaysia’s fees and charges are among the lowest in the region,” Liow added.
The enhancement of services and infrastructure for DCA, he said, would result in a more efficient and effective management of the nation’s aviation sector.
It would also strengthen Malaysia’s aviation standards internationally, he said.
Initially, the new charges were supposed to start yesterday in anticipation of an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation next month.
However, following Liow’s meeting with airline operators on Tuesday, it was agreed that the implementation of the increased DCA fees would be done in stages.
Liow said the decision was made after airline operators claimed that the proposed fee hike was “too sudden”.
He said implementing the hike in stages also meant that airfares were not expected to shoot up as speculated.
On Monday, DCA director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the ANFC had to be revised to keep up with the times.
He said the department needed to upgrade its system so it could manage aircraft and flights safely, seamlessly and efficiently.
On average, Azaharuddin said there were about 1,100 aircraft “movements” around Kuala Lumpur International Airport per day.
He said DCA’s expenditure budget was about RM250mil a year, but its income was only RM50mil.