7th September, 2010
The airspace agency said that Aeroâ€™s action is â€œa cheap blackmailâ€ that will not work.
The airline yesterday introduced an additional N100 charge for passengers following theÂ implementation of pay-as-you-go mode of payment introduced by NAMA on 1 September 2010.
The scheme compels airlines to pay terminal navigational charges before their planes canÂ take off.
NAMA yesterday said that the â€œNAMA TAXâ€ introduced by Aero Contractors is â€œa grand design byÂ the airline to blackmail the agency over the newly introduced pay as you go mode of paymentÂ already embraced by the carriers.â€
The agencyâ€™s Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Supo Atobatele, said: â€œWe want to clearly stateÂ that NAMA has never introduced any tax, which Aero Contractors Airlines had labeled â€˜NAMAÂ TAXâ€™. This is a cheap blackmail and would like to categorically declare that the agency isÂ not an inland revenue.
â€œNAMA is merely enforcing what is due to her as an air navigation service provider in theÂ aviation industry, by asking the airlines to pay terminal navigational charges, and thisÂ charge is legally backed by Act No 48 of 1999 that established the agency and ICAO, theÂ world regulatory body for the aviation industry.â€
Aero Contractorâ€™s Head of Commercial, Mr. Robert Prophet said at the weekend: â€œWe areÂ greatly saddened by the situation and the approach of NAMA. But Aero is not in a position toÂ take up another incremental government charge. We empathise with Nigerian passengers.â€™â€™
SY&T Communications Limited, Aero Contractorsâ€™ media relations consultants did not returnÂ our call on the development as at press time today.