International air travellers to pay RM1 each to fund Mavcom

The RM1 fee for Mavcom is applicable on both Malaysians and foreigners leaving the country through airports, says deputy minister


The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) will charge RM1 on all international passengers departing from Malaysian airports next year in its bid to be financially self-sustainable.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said the government will not fund any of Mavcom’s activities from next year, thus the RM1 fee would be vital to ensure continued effective operations of the commission.

“We have been funding Mavcom over the last two years. So with the fee collection, they will have to be fully sustainable without depending on the government,” he told The Malaysian Reserve at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

“A regulator’s fee is normal in other countries and we are being very reasonable by charging a minimal RM1 on each passenger,” Ab Aziz added.

According to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) some 43.2 million international passengers passed through MAHB airports in Malaysia in 2016, representing an 8% increase from 2015.

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Amendment) Bill 2017 — which was tabled earlier this week in the Dewan Rakyat — is expected to be deliberated and voted today, which allows Mavcom to impose the charge and regulations on companies and individuals.

Ab Aziz said the RM1 fee for Mavcom is applicable on both Malaysians and foreigners leaving the country through airports.

Under the bill, Mavcom can also impose a maximum financial penalty of RM1 million against an individual for failure to observe its guidelines.

Any company that fails to follow the guidelines will be fined a maximum of 5% of its annual turnover from the preceding financial year.

Besides enhancing the effectiveness of Mavcom in exercising its functions, the bill will also ensure sufficient financial resources for protecting the rights and interests of consumers and aviation development.

Under the bill, the commission can administer, allocate and manage air traffic rights for both domestic and international routes.

Mavcom will also be empowered to regulate unfair and arbitrary fees and charges imposed by the aviation service providers, Ab Aziz said.

The commission may set a maximum of RM200,000 fine for a first-timer who imposes arbitrary fees and charges.

“For a repeat violation, one is liable to an amount of 10 times the penalty imposed on the first-timer,” he added.

Mavcom will also be given the power to issue guidelines, circulars, directives and practice notes.

The amendment is meant to facilitate the implementation of good practice in a shorter timeframe.

Mavcom is an independent body set up on March 1, 2016, to regulate economic and commercial matters relating to civil aviation.