KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Malaysia’s airport passenger service charge is determined by local aviation authorities, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd said today when responding to an opinion piece.
Commenting on Malay Mail assistant news editor Boo Su-Lyn’s article titled “The Case for Competition in Running Airports” from last week, MAHB said the piece was inaccurate for implying it had any say in determining such charges.
It stressed that the PSC was set by local government entities such as the Transport Ministry previously and the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) now.
“Malaysia Airports is not able to introduce any ancillary charges unless decided by the government and by this argument, cannot be considered a monopoly,” MAHB said in a statement.
MAHB also argued that Mavcom arrived at the rate only after engaging an international consultant to perform an independent study.
The airport operator also said that Malaysia’s passenger charge was the lowest in the region.
“Malaysia’s domestic PSC is RM11, and its international PSC is RM35 for Asean and RM73 for non-Asean destinations,” it said.
MAHB made similar claims about the landing and parking charges it imposes at local airports.
On Boo’s comparison of KLIA’s Skytrax ranking against Singapore’s Changi Airport, MAHB said a direct comparison could not be made as the latter adopted the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) principle of non-discriminatory airport.
Singapore also charges additional fees and levies at Changi that also made the airport’s charges more costly than at KLIA, MAHB said.
MAHB explained that the charges were necessary to sustain the local aviation industry as 75 per cent of the 39 airports in its stable were not commercially viable and required massive outlay to remain operational.
“These airports are managed on a cross-subsidisation model in order to provide the Malaysians people with connectivity among its smaller towns and rural areas,” it said.