264 Venezuela’s airport ‘breathing’ tax


The biggest international airport in Venezuela is charging a fee for the right to inhale clean air – and social media users are not happy.

We’re used to a seemingly endless range of taxes and surcharges when we fly – passenger taxes, departure taxes, fuel levies. But Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas has taken this a step further – passengers flying out now have to pay 127 bolivars tax (£12; $20) for the air they breathe.

This is to cover the cost of a newly-installed system which uses ozoneto purify the building’s air conditioning system. A press release from the Ministry of Water and Air Transport says it’s the first airport in South America and the Caribbean to use the technology, which it claims will eliminate bacterial growth to “protect the health of travellers,” as well as deodorizing and sanitising the building.

I – Word Understanding
Surcharge – extra fee
Levy – an amount collected by the government or other authority
Ozone – a pale blue gas with a stong and sharp smell

II – Have Your Say
1. When travelling, some people fail to account for all expenses.They focus on large, obvious amounts. Here are some of the “hidden costs” when travelling:
– Tolls and rest stops
– Airline and airport fees
– Hotel stays (other charges)
– Vehicle rentals (late charges / failure-to-fill-up the tank)
– Preparation costs (pet/garden care, mail, etc)
2. Money provided by taxation has been used by states throughout history to carry out many functions
– Welfare and public service
– law enforcement and order
– economic infrastructure
– operation of government

264 Venezuela’s airport ‘breathing’ tax