​Policies

ICAO's Policies on User Charges

Article 15 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention)

The basic policies established by ICAO in the area of airport and air navigation services charges are expressed in Article 15 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Doc 7300). Article 15 of the Convention sets out the following three basic principles:
    • uniform conditions shall apply to the use of airport and air navigation facilities in a Contracting State by aircraft of all other Contracting States;  
    • the charges imposed by a Contracting State for the use of such airports or air navigation facilities shall not be higher for aircraft of other Contracting States than those paid by its national aircraft engaged in similar international operations; and 
    • no charge shall be imposed by any Contracting State solely for the right of transit over or entry into or exit from its territory of any aircraft of a Contracting State or persons or property thereon.

While the first two of these principles do not appear to have given rise to misunderstandings, the third has in some instances been interpreted to mean that no charges are to be levied when an aircraft flies into, out of or over a State. That, however, is not the intent of this principle since all States are fully within their rights to recover the costs of the services they provide to aircraft operators through charges. The substance of this principle is in fact that a State should not charge solely for granting an authorization for a flight into, out of or over its territory.

Two other aspects are also addressed in Article 15. The first is that States shall publish all their airport and air navigation services charges, and also communicate them to ICAO. This information is collected and published by ICAO in the Tariffs for Airports and Air Navigation Services (Doc 7100). Article 15 also provides for ICAO, upon representation by an interested Contracting State, to review charges imposed and make recommendations thereon to the State or States concerned.
 
​Application of User Charges
​The Tariffs for Airports and Air Navigation Services (Doc 7100) lists the various airport and air navigation services charges applied in 187 States. Since 1998, Doc 7100 is revised and issued every year, and from 2011 is also available online.
Click to view online information.
 
 
 
ICAO's Policies on Charges for Airports and Air Navigation Services

Additional and more detailed policy guidance in the area of airport and air navigation services charges is provided in ICAO's Policies on Charges for Airports and Air Navigation Services (Doc 9082). The contents of Doc 9082 has been revised periodically by the Council following major international conferences on airport and air navigation services economics and management, the last of which - the Conference on the Economics of Airports and Air Navigation Services (CEANS) - was held in Montréal from 15 to 20 September 2008, with amendments published when required. However, the basic philosophy and principles expressed in the policies, that is fairness and equity in the determination and allocation of airport and air navigation services costs, have remained unchanged over the years.
 
The ICAO policies on charges differ in status from the Chicago Convention in that an ICAO Contracting State is not bound to adhere to the policies' provisions and recommendations, unlike the articles of the Chicago Convention. However, since the recommendations in the ICAO policies have been developed by major international conferences, there is a strong moral obligation for States to ensure that their airports and air navigation services cost recovery practices conform to the policies and philosophy set out in the ICAO policies on charges. This appears to be the general practice amongst ICAO's Contracting States.
 
An introductory section of the policies on charges addresses some issues which are common to airports and air navigation services: scope and proliferation of charges, organizational and managerial issues, economic oversight, economic performance and minimum reporting requirements, consultation with users, pre-funding of projects and currency issues.
 
The policies on airport charges cover such subjects as the cost basis for airport charges, airport charging systems, landing charges, parking and hangar charges, passenger service charges, security charges, noise-related charges, emissions-related aircraft charges to address local air quality problems at or around airports, development of revenues from concessions, rental of premises and "free zones", and fuel concession fees.
 
The policies on charges for air navigation services include the cost basis for air navigation services charges, allocation of costs of air navigation services among aeronautical users, charging systems, approach and aerodrome control charges, route air navigation services charges, and charges for air navigation services used by aircraft when not over the provider State.

 

 

​Additional policy is contained in
Assembly Resolution A38-14, Appendix E - Airports and Air Navigation Services in Section I.
​​Click here to view:
Assembly Resolution A38-14: Consolidated statement of continuing ICAO policies in the air transport field (October 2013), Appendix E. 
 

 

 
ICAO's Policy on Taxation 

Since the early 1950's ICAO has had policies and guidance for States on the taxation of certain aspects of international air transport, namely: the taxation of aviation fuel, lubricants and other consumable technical supplies; airline income and aircraft and the sale and use of international air transport, such as on tickets, passengers and airline gross receipts. Over the years, the ICAO Council has undergone a number of revisions to the policies on taxation of air transport, and in February 1999 has adopted the consolidation of the previous four separate Council Resolutions into a single resolution, with no substantive changes. This consolidated resolution together with associated commentary is contained in the Third Edition of Doc 8632, ICAO's Policies in the Field of Air Transport, issued in 2000. At its 33rd Session in 2001, the ICAO Assembly adopted Resolution A33-19 which inter alia refines the Organization's distinction between a tax and a charge and urges Contracting States to follow the resolution of the Council as contained in Doc 8632. This resolution was reissued under Assembly Resolution A37-20, Appendix E, unchanged.
 
The 33rd Session of the Assembly adopted as well as Resolution A33-7 which constitutes the consolidated statement of continuing ICAO policies and practices related to environmental protection, including Appendix I on market-based measures for aircraft engine emissions containing elements on environmental charges and taxes. This resolution was subsequently updated at the 37th Session of the ICAO Assembly through Resolution A38-14 (Appendix D). Further information on ICAO policy on environmental levies is provided in the Environmental Protection website.

​Information on ICAO Assembly Resolutions may be found at the following link:
​Assembly Resolution A38-14, Appendix D - Taxation.
Click here to view.
 
​Information on IATA's emissions policy options.
Click here to view.http://www.iata.org/.