New Fee Hits Airlines
A new fee will be imposed on all airlines operating flights in the airspace controlled by Bulgaria. This is clear from the proposed changes by the Transport Ministry in the Civil Aviation Act, which are currently released for public comment. The idea is that the raised funds may be used for the development and practical implementation of the National Plan for search and rescue in aviation accidents outside the vicinity of airports (where there are emergency situation centres). That plan should be adopted by the Council of Ministers, but its implementation is necessary to include representatives of a number of agencies and organizations with expertise and resources for search and rescue in a plane crash. Basically these are structures of the Ministries of Defence, Interior, Healthcare, Transport, Information Technology and Communications, and NGOs such as the Red Cross, and others.
Construction and maintenance of a coordination centre for search and rescue is a requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organization - ICAO. The aim is to upgrade the capabilities of these units, which already comply with a number of standardization documents of NATO, and to establish an efficient national system corresponding to the provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The problem is that the implementation of this complex task will require money and they will be provided through tolls for flying over the territory of the country, which are collected by the State enterprise Air Traffic Control. The forecasts is that for the period 2015 - 2019, 2 million levs will suffice.
Currently, the amount of the average base unit rate for en-route flight is 36.56 euros, but if the legal changes are adopted in their current form, it will increase.
The fee for the rescue operations will be just another charge which will fall upon the shoulders of the airlines. Now they pay to the ATC for air navigation services and the use of navigational aids, while airports take the fees for landing, parking, passenger use of sleeves, security and environmental noise charge.
Another change in the Civil Aviation Act provides an elimination of the requirement for completion, submission and approval of a flight plan for flights outside controlled airspace. Today, it is mandatory to be able to react appropriately in the event of an incident or accident. The same, however, is the practice in other EU countries.