Legislature presented to increase airport development fee

Travelers pass through Immigration at the Velana International Airport.

North Fuvahmulah MP Mohamed Rasheed has submitted legislature designed to increase the airport development fee (ADB) – the tax imposed from airports on all international departures.

 The first reading of the legislature was held at the Parliament this Saturday morning.

The legislature comes as the proposed state budget for 2020 suggests increasing the ADF imposed on business-class and first-class passengers.

The current ADF is USD 12 for locals and USD 25 for foreign citizens. The 2020 budget suggests increasing the ADF on business-class passengers to USD 60 and first-class passengers to USD 90 – irrespective of nationality.

Finance Ministry has requested the Parliament to make the necessary legislative amendments to the ADF rates effective from April 2020.

The change in ADF rates is projected to generate an additional income of MVR 159.6 million – a 24.3 percent boost compared to the projected income from ADF for 2019.

Only persons who have diplomatic immunity or are children under the age of two years are exempt from ADF.

Maldives introduced ADF in May 2017 as a source of additional income in order to cover the repayment of the loan taken out to develop Velana International Airport. The tax is included on the ticket fare.

According to the Finance Ministry, it does not expect the increase in ADF to effect any change on the travel habits of business and first-class passengers.

The Parliament passed the MVR 37.8 billion 2020 budget last week. It is MVR 7 billion higher than the 2019 budget.