Friday, 26 May 2023, 08:34
A new charge being introduced at Malaga Airport has angered car rental businesses, the taxi sector and drivers of private hire vehicles (VTCs).
Aena, the Spanish airport operator, intends to charge all transport vehicles every time they access the arrivals terminal to pick up a passenger.
The tax, which according to the sector will be 1.55 euros, will be applied once work to improve traffic flow in the car parks and entrance roads is complete. It will affect the pre-booking area where both the 1,300 taxis from outside Malaga city must park, and those from the city who work under contract, as well as all 2,378 authorised VTCs in the province.
The only exception is Uber, which has its own 35-vehicle space right in front of the Terminal 3 exit, in exchange for paying a fee of at least 25,000 euros per year.
In order to reach the arrivals terminal, shuttle vehicles that pick up car rental customers to take them to the depot where their rented cars are, or the minibuses chartered by the surrounding car parks for those who leave their vehicles in one of their parking areas, will also have to pass through the barrier and pay the charge. The amount of the fee has not officially been confirmed but following several meetings held in recent months with airport officials, the sector indicates that it will start at 1.55 euros. Then it would be charged according to the length of stay, so that the 15-minute charge would be 2 euros and the one-hour charge would be 3.55 euros.
Aena said the charge is needed to improve traffic flow and discourage vehicles obstructing areas while waiting to pick up passengers. “The extension of this parking area, which goes from 100 to 450 spaces a few metres from the terminal, responds to the need to bring some order and regulate this area in which the different modes of transport coexist,” Aena said.
The main associations of the passenger transport sector in the province have joined forces to write to Aena and Malaga Airport director , Pedro Bendala, to request the measure be halted. They said it could damage businesses as they are mainly made up of SMEs and self-employed workers.
VTC-Andalucía employers' association president, Pablo García, said: "It is not possible to unilaterally generate a collection fee when a single access is imposed on passenger transport companies. We cannot choose, and we must also take into account that the flow of passengers is subject to daily delays in the arrival of passengers due to circumstances beyond our control, forcing drivers to wait for hours until the departure of the passenger".
The Costa del Sol taxi confederation, which includes the 2,300 fleet of cars along the coast from Manilva to Nerja, also rejected the measure. "This new fare is going to further aggravate the impact of the rising costs that we transport professionals have been suffering. We trust that Aena will take our situation into account and reconsider this measure," president Miguel Ángel Martín said.
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