Zimbabwe introduces new air travel levy in effort to rehabilitate infrastructure


Air travellers in Zimbabwe now have to pay additional fees as the government tries to raise money in order to upgrade Zimbabwe’s crumbling aviation infrastructure.

Zimbabwe’s Civil Aviation Authority introduced a new Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund levy, which became effective last Wednesday. It amounts to domestic passengers paying US$5 while international travellers are required to pay US$15 per flight. Travellers already pay US$10 and US$25 in airport fees per domestic and international flight respectively, according to Zimbabwean media.
“We have a programme that should run for 10 years and are expecting to raise US$400 million that will cater for the infrastructure,” said Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer David Chawota. “We want to rehabilitate infrastructure and that cannot be done by the current revenue, we require a special fund for that and the projects will be implemented in consultation with all stakeholders.”

The new regulations were contained in a Statutory Instrument of a Government Gazette published by Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche last Friday.

The Civil Aviation (Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund Fee) Regulations 2012 were made in terms of section 79 of the Civil Aviation Act: “Subject to subsection (3) below, no person shall depart from any aerodrome on an aircraft unless he has paid the Aviation Infrastructure Fund fee (a) if he/she is a passenger on a domestic flight, in the sum of five United States dollars (b) if he/she is a passenger on an international flight, in the sum of fifteen United States dollars,” read the regulations.
“All airlines shall levy Infrastructure Development Fund fee on both the domestic and international tickets issued on and after 1st February 2012, pilots of non-scheduled and private flights shall collect the fees from their non exempt passengers and pay at the airport payment office before departure.”

Passengers who fail to pay the fees will be fined US$20 for a domestic flight or US$75 for an international flight, or one or three months in prison, respectively.

At the beginning of May last year Zimbabwe introduced US$10 and US$30 local and international departure fees but indefinitely suspended the Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund levy shortly after. The levies were met with opposition that they were too steep.