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Aviation Industry surprised by new Bahamian taxes

On July 1, 2013 new taxes took effect in the Bahamas affecting both the commercial and private aviation community.

All inbound and outbound flights are now being charged $75 per leg for processing fees, resulting in a total of $150 per flight in additional fees. The new processing fees are in addition to the current landing fee and Bahamian Departure taxes, and must be paid in cash.

Concern has been expressed by the airlines, as well as both charter and private aircraft operators, that there was no notification of the new tax, as well as the impact the additional fees will have on operations.

The airlines also criticized the Customs service charge for overtime for aircraft arriving after 5pm and before 9am.

Among the potential ramifications of the new fees is the consideration of air carriers to scale back their flight schedules, thus reducing the overall seating capacity to and from the Bahamas. This action could have a significant impact on Bahamas tourism in general. Those who wish to charter a private aircraft to or from the Bahamas will also realize an increase in cost, however in general the extra expense is negligible.