Bahamas institutes new airport taxes for private pilots

The Bahamas government has instituted new aviation taxes: $50 for arriving private aircraft and $75 in and $75 out for commercial operators. This tax, labled a “processing fee” for General Declaration forms, also applies for technical fuel stops.

“Departure taxes do not apply for a fuel stop, although I received reports this year of some Out Island customs officers charging the fee,” reports Jim Parker at Caribbean Flying Adventures. “I’ll be flying non-stop tomorrow from south Florida to the northern coast of the Dominican Republic in order to avoid the Bahamas.”

In addition there is a passenger departure tax of $25, which also applies to the crew. The new regulation states that the $25 also applies to children below the age of 6.

“So now your day trip to Bimini with three passengers in your C172 opens with a $150 bill before you even begin spending your tourism dollars,” Parker said. “The Bahamas reaps millions in tourism dollars from private aviation. These new taxes will certainly discourage many pilots from visiting the Bahamas and will result in a net loss of revenue for the economy.”

Parker reports he has written the Minister of Transport and Aviation to ask that she raise this issue at the most senior levels of government. “My suggestion was to exempt private flights for tourism,” he said.

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  1. Chip Hendry says

    Just visited Treasure Cay last week. KA 350 8 passengers and 2 pilots. Pilots did not stay over. Total fees $1,249. In addition to customs and departure fees we were charged $600 for in and out ground handling. Is this the new normal?

  2. Osvaldo says

    I have been a regular general aviation flyer to The Bahamas for 30 years with several yearly visits to the various out islands. I have even a great US registered mechanic there that would perform maintenance on almost every trip. I think that whoever thought these taxes does not understand that they will simply cut down on the number of fun flyers that have a choice to go elsewhere. For me, it’s the last straw that broke the back to non essential flying there: and they are all non essential! For us in Florida there are plenty other places to go fishing and diving, etc., and I can also skip the eAPIS and customs hassle both here and there. So long Bahamas.

  3. George McCord says

    I have been going to the Bahamas for 40 years. At first, it was grand, but then after their independence it became unfriendly for a few years. Then they imposed a departure tax of $20 per person but exempted the pilot (me) and my copilot (my wife). Then they rescinded the exemption for the “copilot.” Then they rescinded the exemption for me. Last March at Marsh Harbour the new FBO parked my bird in the same spot that used to be free, and charged me $86 for four days. Then they raised the $20 per person departure tax to $25. and now they impose a $50 per person on arrival. The Bahamas have seen the last of me, including a planned fly-in to Long Island in November.

  4. Philip says

    What a shame! Just returned from a flight in Early July. The out-tax went up $5 from last year to $25. I had just set up some regular stops and stays in Marsh Harbor and Hope Town for my wife and family. (Cancel That). I agree with Mr. Maher that there is a principal here and I have now found some nice places to go here in the U.S.

  5. says

    My wife and I are avid fliers and divers. The Bahamas WERE a regular destination for us. And we WERE planning another visit in our 310 in the near future with another 310 owner as a group fly-out. Not now. To some it might seem silly, since the taxes, and that’s what hey are, don’t represent a huge percentage of what our trip would cost. But it’s more about the principal of the thing. When somebody takes a shot at general aviation, when it clearly feeds their economy, I’m certainly not going to willingly keep supporting them.

    Guy R. Maher

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