20 Sep 2017
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THE Commonwealth Ports Authority will implement a new rate methodology to determine how much CPA will charge each airline that uses local runway and terminal facilities, according to Barrie Toves, CPA board member and chairman of the airport facility committee.
Toves and other CPA officials led by board chairman Joe Lifoifoi and executive director Chris Tenorio met with lawmakers on Tuesday to discuss the new rate methodology.
CPA’s consultants Bonnie Ossege, vice president of Ricondo & Associates, and Geoff Wheeler, senior vice president conducted a presentation.
Toves, in an interview, said it is very important to implement a new rate methodology to determine how much exactly an airline will pay for using the runway facility, the terminal building, passenger screening “and everything.”
“This is very important because we are facing issues with our current rates that have been in effect for decades already. We received request from the two municipalities, Tinian and the Rota, asking CPA for some kind of reprieve. In the beginning they were asking for us to look into the passenger facility charge and see how we can exempt them or waive the charge so we have our airport consultants taking a look at that,” Toves said.
Once a report is finalized, he will submit it to the board for its approval.
“We will apply a new method and it’s going to be fair to everyone. I believe it’s going to help the airlines if they will pay for the space that they occupy instead of everyone paying the same rate. As long as the facility charges that the respective municipalities requested to the board, we can’t just exempt an airline. The CNMI is not included in the federal law that authorizes exemption of certain policies. It will take some U.S. congressional action to include CNMI. Even Guam is not part of that law.”
Toves said their goal “is to establish a new rate structure that is going to be fair across the board. We don’t want smaller airlines subsidizing bigger airlines. We heard a lot of complaints coming from the airline operators.”
Asked about the rates, he said: “We are not there yet — we cannot determine how much, but just to give you an idea, we anticipate to implement a new rate that will give the airlines at least 40 percent discount across the board of what they are paying now.”
Bonnie Ossege said the decision to revisit the CPA rates was triggered by complaints filed by an airline that didn’t like the current methodology and claimed that it didn’t fit the guidelines of the airport.
Toves said they can understand where the airline was coming from, adding that the sizes of the airports on Rota and Tinian, for example, are much smaller than Saipan’s and the two airports also don’t have much facilities so it is not fair that airlines pay higher landing fees on Rota and Tinian.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/98680-cpa-to-implement-new-rate-methodology