The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said it has proposed raising aircraft landing charges for international flights at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) by about 30 percent, adding that it would simultaneously lower the landing charges for airports in Hualien, Taitung and elsewhere.
CAA Director-General Jean Shen (沈啟) said Songshan airport was operating at almost full capacity. Raising the airport landing charge would divert flights to other, less-used airports in the nation, she said.
Currently, the CAA regulates the aircraft landing charges for Songshan and other domestic airports. The charge at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is determined by the Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC), which was established in 2010. The revenue collected from aircraft landing charges at airports under the CAA is between NT$460 million (US$15.53 million) and NT$470 million per year.
The proposed landing charge increase has been submitted to Ministry of Transportation and Communications for final approval. The launch of cross-strait flights, as well as flights to Tokyo and Seoul, has vastly increased passenger traffice at Songshan airport.
According to the CAA’s proposal, the landing charge at Songshan airport will differ according to aircraft model. The landing charge for an Airbus 330, for example, would be raised from NT$41,300 per aircraft to NT$53,000 under the proposed rate scheme.
If the increase of the aircraft landing charge was to be shared among passengers at Songshan airport, the CAA estimated that each would on average pay NT$179, up from NT$138.
In response, airlines at the airport said that a rise in the aircraft landing charge would not raise prices for flights.
Aircraft landing charges for international flights at Taichung and Kaohsiung airports would be reduced by between 8 and 10 percent, the CAA said.
If the carriers manage to increase the number of flight services at any of these two airports, they would see the landing charge drop by 50 percent per aircraft.
If they are able to raise the number by between 30 and 70 new flights per year, they would get a 70 percent discount on the landing charge per aircraft.
They will not need to pay any landing charge at all if they increase flights by more than 70 a year.
International flight landing charges at Hualien, Taitung, Magong, Kinmen and Chiayi airports would drop by 50 percent. The CAA would waive the landing charge for any newly added flight from any of these airports.
It said the new landing charge scheme would increase landing charge revenue by about NT$30 million a year.