Bahamas Increases Private Aviation Costs

 - July 9, 2013, 2:40 PM

The Bahamas government has instituted new private aviation tariffs consisting of a $50 per landing and departure customs processing fee for private aircraft and $75 per landing and  departure fee for commercial operators. The landing charges are also imposed for technical fuel stops. The new fees took effect last week. In addition the passenger departure tax was recently raised to $25 per person, including the crew and children older than 6.



Dear Mr. Prime Minister and Tourist Director of Bahamas. I would like to remind you all that economics are already difficult for private pilot travelers to the Bahamas. Making it more so will not encourage private pilots to the Bahamas, and the money they bring.” The new taxes for flights into the Bahamas are not only unfair to the GA community, but will also hurt FBOs, hotels, taxis, and a variety of other small business in the Bahamas. Regarding the new General Aviation arrival/departure taxes, the really unfair practice is the bait-and-switch approach taken by the Bahamas government. Not too long ago, you set forth a "Private Pilot Bill of Rights," in which the Bahamas - in essence - asked the U.S. General Aviation to fly there, assuring pilots that no fees and/or taxes would be imposed. The "promise" of no taxes/fees worked; despite more stringent U.S. laws regarding flights to the Bahamas (such as the need for a passport and the submission to the CBP of a flight/passenger manifest), private pilots “accepted the invitation” and continued to fly to the Bahamas. But now, using the analogy of my friend Dennis Haber, after you have invited us into your home, you have decided to charge us for tea and scones.

I flew with my wife 13 times to the Bahamas last year, spending an average of 3 nights in hotels per trip. Those trips last year cost me $650 just in passenger/crew departure taxes. If I fly the same number of times next year, in addition to the $650 in passenger/crew departure taxes, I will also incur an additional $650-$1300 in airplane entry/departure taxes. Needless to say, I have decided that if these new taxes stay in place, I will no longer fly to the Bahamas with the same frequency. I believe the same approach will be taken by fellow private pilots


Your article is in error. Private aircraft incur a new $50 fee on landing but no fee on departure. Also, the departure tax per person may now apply to people of all ages, not just those over 6 years of age. I say "may" because there is some uncertainty, pending clarification.

To the Bahamas it might not seem like a lot of money but to us who have a house or villa in one of the out islands it's an extra burden I can not afford. I guess I'll be going only once or twice a year instead of every month or every holiday.
Why don't you do an annual entry sticker like the USA does.

I was shocked and appalled when I arrived into MYES last week to find out that the Bahama Government has imposed a(as of 01 July 2013) new Entry and exit fee for private aircraft. $50 per each event! Are you serious!!! The departure Tax, which recently was raised from $20 to $25, was a 25% increase. Over the last 30 years the TAX has gone from $3 to $25! A 800% increase! Private aircraft owners help the economy of the outer family islands by spending money on hotels, meals, boat rentals, taxis ect... This attempt, is borderline extortion to a small group of tourists!

I say we boycott the Bahamas! Let them suffer the consequences.

In my opinion, The Bahamas is being shirt sighted in imposing these onerous taxes that only hurt them. Pilot's have choices, and I, for one will not go there on my nickel for the time being. It would make more sense for them to have an annual "registration" fee of say $100 per aircraft and crew with unlimited visits allowed . That would encourage multiple visits and increase revenue: after all all that tourists bring in is money! Money that multiplies in jobs for FBOs, cabbies, restaurants, hotels, dive operators, etc.

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