The 127 airlines using Tocumen airport have been hit with two new taxes in four months by the administration, already under fire for sweetheart deals made with terminal concessionaires.
First they created a fee for the use of the terminal, in which the airlines have to pay $1.25 for each passenger using the airport. Now they must pay for the collection of garbage generated on board aircraft .
Maurice Benaim, president of the Airlines Association of Panama, argues that it is untenable for Tocumen, SA to "punish" the airlines every time they want to increase their income.
"These increases are unsustainable, people think that all the money the airlines charge is profit, and it is not, he said.
The aircraft engines have hours of life, the fuel is a major expense, in addition, the airlines pay for landing and taking off from an airport, he added.
As happened with the first tax, the latest will be transferred to passengers, and the increases can detract carriers from using Panama as a hub
The new fee schedule that will be implemented at Tocumen will mean that all aircraft landing at the airport will pay between $30 and $50..
The narrow body planes will pay $30, while the wide body, will pay $50.
Benaim said they were never consulted by the administration of Tocumen, and they are requesting an appointment with the manager of the terminal to talk about it.
Currently the service of garbage collection is performed by the Engineering and Managements Company SA (Ingesa), hired “directly” in November 2011 by Tocumen. It is assumed that once the contract with Ingesa finishes in late 2012, Tocumen should call a tender to award the new contract and the purchase an incinerator.