New Zealand will begin charging Australian-licensed carriers operating on domestic routes a passenger safety levy from 4 December.

Australian safety-certified airlines operating within New Zealand will pay New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority an additional NZ$1.66 ($1.19) per passenger for each leg flown, says the New Zealand government.

This is 83% of what New Zealand carriers pay, given that the New Zealand's CAA is not solely responsible for direct regulatory oversight of Australian carriers, it says.

The only carrier affected is Australia's Jetstar, which had avoided the levy as it operates domestic services in New Zealand under an Australian air operator's certificate, instead of a New Zealand AOC.

On 27 October, Jetstar said that it objected to the CAA's proposal to impose the levy. It contended that it already pays Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for the oversight of Jetstar's operations, which involves audits, inspections, certifications, assessments and approvals for the carrier's operations in New Zealand.

"We believe a more equitable path forward would be for each regulator to recover costs from each other for any services they provide to each other," said Jetstar. "This would remove duplication and ensure we maintain an alignment between the charges and the regulator with responsibility for an airline."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news