May 7, 2024

Landing fee: Helicopter operators reject FG’s $300 levy

Landing fee: Helicopter operators reject FG’s $300 levy

By Dickson Omobola

There are strong indications that some helicopter operators may refuse to pay the $300 landing fee introduced by the Federal Government through its concessionaire, NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Limited.

A source said some of the operators have voiced concerns about the new fee, noting that they have also indicated interest in joining the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, to frustrate the efforts of NAEBI, the company given the right to collect the levy.

The source, however, revealed that while some operators have begun payment, others were seeking means by which they could get the federal government to back down on its payment.

The source said, “I can tell you categorically that the helicopter operators are divided. While some have complied and already paying the charge for any operation;

“…others are seeking to sabotage the federal government initiative by soliciting the intervention of the owner of one of the biggest airlines in the country to arm-twist the minister and mislead the public about the state of affairs in the aviation industry through negative media publicity on this matter.”

The source wondered why an airline owner would want to be dragged into the development, saying, “Why would any airline owner allow himself to be dragged into this matter when the helicopter operators are not the ones to pay this levy? They are merely collection agents.”

Recall that Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, in a recent directive to helicopter operators, stated: “It is imperative that all operators and stakeholders fully comply with this mandate, by granting total access to Messrs NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Limited for the collection of this levy, on behalf of the Federal Government, effective immediately.

“Non-compliance with this directive will constitute a breach of this mandate and will be met with appropriate sanctions. The Ministry will enforce compliance without exception and will pursue all available remedies against any party that fails to adhere to this directive.

“Please note that the Ministry of Aviation will be monitoring compliance with this mandate closely and will take swift action against any violation.”