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Paying More, Getting Less

Lawmakers and Public Complain About Increase Passenger Service Charges at Baliís Airport

(4/14/2014) NusaBali used page one to focus a spotlight on the April 1, 2014 increase in the airport service charge for departing international passengers and further plans to increase the domestic service charge in August.

The vice-chairman of Commission I of the Bali Provincial House of Representatives, Gusti Putu Widjera, has called on the managers of Bali’s airport – PT Angkasa Pura I to reconsider plans to increase the passenger service charge that he sees as burdensome.

Widjera said on Monday, April 7, 2014, “Before PT Angkasa Pura I (PAP) increases the airport tax at Ngurah Rai Airport they should first undertake a study involving academics, the Indonesian Consumer Bureau (YLKI) and local government.”

While acknowledging that the decision to increase the cost of the airport service charge rests with PT Angkasa Pura, Widjera said involving the community in such decisions would help to avoid conflicts and polemics.

Sounding a similar note was an expert on infrastructure issues, Anak Agung Putu Ngurah Wirawan, who cautioned PAP not to simply do as it pleases as regards increasing the passenger service charge.

Wirawan called into question the recent increase in the passenger service charge to Rp. 200,000 (US$17.50) and plans to soon increase the domestic charge to Rp. 75,000 (US$6.50). “It’s justified if the charge is increased providing there is also an improvement in the services provided to passengers such as spacious terminals, clean toilets, large waiting rooms, a good public announcement system and clean carpets. But at the present time, there continues to be filthy carpets in waiting rooms, air conditioners that do not cool, and other services that are failing to please the public,” he said.

Wirawan said any increase in airport service charge should be discussed and formulated by all the involved parties and based on the improvement of services. Once an increase in service and fees is agreed, the decision should be socialized to the general public.

Wirawan described the decision by PT Angkasa Pura to increase the passenger service charge as “arrogant” and done without any clear parameters. He also bemoaned that fact that the Provincial and Regional governments did not have a shareholding in Bali’s airports. This lack of equity means that the people of Bali enjoy no say in the control and operation of Bali’s airport including issues such as parking, the selection of small and medium-sized traders to sell at the airport and similar matters.

Wirawan Added: “The provincial government of Bali has no representative in the management of the airport. To get permission for the Sarbargita bus system to enter the airport required great struggle. The location of the airport is, after all, in Bali. These mistakes cannot be made again if a new airport is built in North Bali.”

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