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E7m per year from passenger service charges at Sikhuphe

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EZULWINI – The Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) has projected revenue of E7 million per year from passenger service charges at Sikhuphe International Airport.

This is one of revenue streams by which the new airport will be sustained apart from government subsidies which will be provided for some time.
The current passenger service charge at Matsapha International Airport is E50 per person, but when Sikhuphe begins to operate the charge will rise to E100. This will see the revenue doubling from E3.5 million, which is the current range at Matsapha Airport.

This transpired at a meeting between the Authority and Senators to discuss the Civil Aviation Authority Regulations of 2012 at the Happy Valley Resort and Casino yesterday.

Deris Hlophe, SWACAA’s Air Transport Econo-mist, explained that they expected Sikhuphe to be far busier than Matsapha because it will service global airlines that carried many people.
The current passenger traffic at Matsapha is around 70 000 per year, whereas the projected traffic at Sikhuphe was around 300 000 per year.  “Measures of success we have placed for ourselves include increasing revenue by 25 per cent a year and also reducing government’s spending on the airport by the same percentage.

We are also putting in place a strategic plan to attract and retain world air traffic,” explained Hlophe. Another source of revenue he mentioned was from increased aircraft landing rates. Currently E310 is charged for landing at Matsapha airport, and this rakes in revenue of up to E452 000 in one year.  At Sikhuphe the revenue is projected at E1.1m because to land there an aircraft will be charged E754. 

SWACAA also foresees no less than E46 000 being made per year at Sikhuphe from parking fees. The parking fee for any aircraft at Matsapha airport is E70, but it will rise to E137 at Sikhuphe.
SWACAA Director General Solomon Dube, when asked how Sikhuphe would compare to other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said it would be by far the cheapest in the region.
“The average passenger service charge in other airports is US$20 (About E200). We will be charging half of that, so it’s one of the ways we will remain attractive to other international airlines,” he pointed out.

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