Get set for higher airport tax rates come January 1, 2017.

From next year, passengers travelling to most international destinations from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and other airports nationwide, will have to pay RM73 in airport tax, also known as the passenger service charge (PSC). This marks an RM8 increase from the current RM65 passengers are paying for international destinations from KLIA.

In addition, passengers flying to domestic destinations from next year will have to pay RM11 in PSC if they travel from the KLIA, Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) and other airports. Currently at klia2, passengers travelling to international and domestic destinations are paying RM32 and RM6, respectively. However, those travelling from KLIA to Asean countries will enjoy a lower airport tax rate. These passengers will, from next year, pay only RM35 in PSC compared to the current RM65. This marks a RM30 reduction from the current rates at KLIA.

There is a slight increase in the PSC for those traveling to Asean countries from klia2. These passengers will pay RM35, which is RM3 more from the existing RM32.

Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) said the move would boost traffic to and from Asean countries. The aviation regulation body also said the Asean PSC may also increase the possibility of opening second gateways in the region and consequently increasing traffic inflows into points in Malaysia. The PSC is collected by airlines upon purchase of air tickets and is paid to airport operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) following completion of the flight. Passengers who do not travel on a flight for which they have purchased their tickets are eligible for a full refund of the PSC.

Mavcom said it is taking steps to fully equalise the PSC at KLIA and klia2 on a gradual basis. Its first step was equalising the rates at KLIA and klia2 for domestic and Asean destinations. The commission will also review the PSC in a year’s time with a view to equalise the PSC at KLIA and klia2 for international destinations as well.

“Equalisation of PSC rates at KLIA and klia2 also enables Malaysia to be better aligned to international guidelines, including with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) principle of non-discriminatory pricing at airports,” Mavcom said in a statement today.