July 30 2007
St. Kitts – Nevis Sun
By Corliss Smithen
With the high cost of airfare already impeding intra-regional and international travel by locals, there is now an additional cost at the airport which may exacerbate the situation.
The SUN has learnt that as of 1 Oct., the cost of departure tax will increase significantly. Locals will now be paying $77.00 (EC) in departure tax, while visitors will be shelling out $85.00 (EC), up from the present $50.00 (EC) and $58.00 (EC), respectively.
The SUN contacted an official of the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) for verification.
“I am not going to confirm anything now. We shall talk later during the week,” the official responded.
This impending increase in the departure tax will be another of the adjusted fees and tariffs SCASPA began implementing a year ago.
In July 2006, the authority introduced a new charge known as the International Ships and Port Facility Security (ISPS) fee. Customers were also ordered to pay higher equipment rental rates and dues on vehicles; and there were notable increases on cargo, cargo handling and tonnage dues.
“SCASPA is fully aware of the need to operate more efficiently and has committed itself to providing quality service to all customers”¦,” a release that was issued July 2006, explaining the rationale behind the hike in fees and tariffs, stated.
The SCASPA was formed by the government of St. Kitts/Nevis on 24 Aug., 1993 and began operating as a corporation the following month. SCASPA, according to information posted on its official Web site, was established to provide for the co-ordinated and integrated systems of air and seaport services.