Airport Fees Under Discussion
The effect of the privatization of six among Brazil’s major airports in the last couple of years on Infraero’s financial situation is in the center of the discussions regarding the next readjustment of boarding and aircraft landing and parking fees. Infraero estimates for this year revenue loss in the amount of R$ 170 Million in contrast with a profit of R$ 80 Million in 2013 .The loss of revenue for next year is estimated to be as high as R$ 450 million.
The Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), based on calculations made prior to the privatization suggests a fee increase at a 7.93% rate whilst Infraero claims that an increase of 12.09% would be necessary to avoid a discrepancy in the fees which have been frozen since the end of 2011. The difference between ANAC´s and Infraero´s proposals is of R$ 45 million. Currently, the boarding fees in category 1 airports administered by Infraero are of R$ 21.57 for domestic flights and of R$ 74.72 for international flights which includes airports such as Salvador and Porto Alegre.
In accordance with ANAC the productivity of the operation is the main driver for the calculation of the “x factor”, the component applied upon fees adjustment in order to guarantee the lowest price possible. When there is a rise in productivity part of the earnings is discounted from the adjustment.
The “x factor’”’s role is to share with airport users expected gains for the sector’s productivity, simulating what would happen if the regulated agent was to operate in a competitive market. Infraero, however, wants the fee increase to absorb inflation’s impact in full considering that over the last few years Infraero’s productivity has dropped by almost 5%. In Infraero controller´s opinion, “if productivity is negative, the “x factor” should be zero.”
In its calculation, ANAC is considering an “x factor” of 1.95%, as provided by ANAC’s regulation dating from January 2012. The state-owned airport company, however, believes that the increase should be of 7.93%, Such rate would result on the an increase of Infraero´s income of around R$ 85 million per year.