NASSAU, BAHAMAS —The Bahamas could begin imposing overflight fees by January 2021, according to Tourism and Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar. According to D’Aguilar, this nation is close to monetizing its airspace. “We hired a consulting firm to guide us on how to charge and how to collect,” he said. “Obviously we had never done this before so we had to get some advice on how best to do that.” D’Aguilar said: “That consultancy is almost at and end and they are ready to make some recommendations. Once we receive that we will roll-out a fee structure hopefully by July 1 because it takes six months to take effect. “You have to advise the airlines at least six months before you impose a charge on them so they an adjust their ticket prices accordingly. Even if we roll it out July 1, it wouldn’t take effect until January 1, 2021.” Last November, D’Aguilar revealed that all of the proposals to help manage/administer the overflight fee regime on the government’s behalf had been rejected by a committee overseeing the request for proposal process. He said this drove officials “back to the drawing board”, setting the process back by six months. The Bahamas has been in negotiations with the FAA to gain control of Bahamian airspace, and benefit from millions of dollars in overflight fees that are charged to air carriers that fly over Bahamian territory.
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