||Last Updated: Nov 7, 2018 - 9:06:58 PM
Our failure to capitalize on our own airspace is losing us millions of dollars each year. Most Bahamians may be unaware, but every aircraft that flies within our national boundaries pays a fee, a kind of tax if you will, for right of passage through our territory. The problem is, currently those fees, which can number in the many thousands of dollars per flight, get paid to the United States authorities!
It cannot make sense for a free and independent country to allow another nation to control its airspace, terrestrial land or sovereign waters, much less cash in on the situation, while we get nothing. All the time and effort, all the danger that our Royal Bahamas Defense Force marines endure in order to protect our sovereign waters from poachers, yet we give up our airspace without even putting up a fight?
Meanwhile, this government seems intent on taxing the people to death. Twelve percent VAT, two percent for National Health Insurance and taxes on electricity supply the highest in the region. Ministers claim that the Treasury doesn’t collect enough revenue to make the country run, yet they continue to look to the people’s pockets to get themselves out of this fiscal jam. Why not look at other revenue sources? Why not try to be creative? Why not seek to make the geographical location of the country, which is right in the line of so many busy air routes, work for the public benefit?
Cashing in on our own airspace would cost us nothing more than a conversation with United States officials, for whom these fees are nothing more than spare pocket change. But for little old us, it could mean huge benefits for our Public Treasury and an opportunity to alleviate the onerous tax burden that seems to keep on growing with each passing year. It seems a no-brainer. What on earth are they waiting for?
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