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(File pix) The Malaysian Aviation Commission seeks to amend the Mavcom Bill to protect the interests of consumer from the imposition of arbitrary charges by airline service providers.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Aviation Commission seeks to protect the interests of consumer from the imposition of arbitrary charges by airline service providers through the proposed amendment to the Mavcom Bill.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said the amendment to Act 771 would prevent unreasonable charges or fees such as wheelchair charges, credit card charges and administrative fees.

"The amendment would enable Mavcom to regulate fees and charges imposed by aviation service providers to protect consumers' interests," he told the Dewan Rakyat today during the second reading of the bill.

The ultimate goal for the amendment, Aziz said, is to make the country's aviation industry commercially viable, user-oriented and resilient to support national economic growth.

In the second reading of the bill, he said Mavcom's goals and functions were different from those of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), which is responsible to regulate the technical and security aspects of the country's aviation industry.

"The proposed amendment to Act 771 aims to enhance Mavcom's effectiveness in carrying out its functions and powers stipulated under the Act.

"The bill also seeks to ensure that the commission will have sufficient financial resources on an ongoing basis, to protect consumers' rights and interests as well as the development of the country's aviation industry," he added.

Aziz said Mavcom was established on March 1, 2016 under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (Act 771) aimed at regulating the economic aspect of the national civil aviation industry.

He said the amendment also aims to empower Mavcom to impose financial penalty as well as to levy and collect charges on passengers at airports in the country, for the regulatory services provided by the Commission.

"Additionally, it also allows the Mavcom to impose financial penalty for any non-compliance with any guidelines, circulars, instructions or notices issued by the commission.

"In this regard, the new provision stipulates the imposition of a financial penalty of not more than RM1 million for individuals, and not more than five per cent of a corporate body's annual turnover from the previous financial year," he said.

Mavcom chief operating officer Azmir Zain had in August said the commission was planning to charge air travellers departing from Malaysia, except for Rural Air Services flights in Sabah and Sarawak, a levy of up to RM1 from January next year if the amendment bill to expand its powers was passed.

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