Germany plans retroactive ‘air safety’ tax bills

 - March 27, 2009, 10:00 AM

Just when business aircraft operators didn’t need any new unforeseen costs, German officials have started trying to collect hitherto overlooked “air safety fees” for aircraft departing from the country’s airports. The fees of €6.55 per passenger were introduced in 2004; until now they have not been enforced.

But in January Germany’s National Border Police started combing through past records from airports in Frankfurt and Berlin to assess how much is payable by operators for flights made over the past four years. According to Laura Everington, regulatory services manager with Universal Weather & Aviation, officers have started pursuing operators and demanding to know how many passengers were on each flight so that the government can issue back bills.

The fees are payable by operators from any country and apply to both private and commercial flights. The police are currently trying to collect fees on flights made into Frankfurt and Berlin during 2006. They will pursue fees for other airports in due course. In the future, FBOs are expected to start collecting the fees as part of the billing process for commercial and private flights, regardless of the origin of the operator, the nationality of the passengers or the country of aircraft registration.