Riga Introduces Security Charge

On January 1, 2012, Riga International Airport in Latvia introduced a new procedure for the collection of security charges.  All airlines operating at the airport, with the exception of budget carrier Ryanair, have now agreed to include the charge in their air fares.  It is thought that the majority of passengers at the airport will not notice the difference.
Aldis Mūrnieks, a member of the airport’s board, said:  “Security is crucial in aviation and it must be maintained both by the carriers and the airport.  An airline may not deliberately disobey the security standards.  Therefore the airport will collect the security charge instead of Ryanair for conducting security checks of the airline’s passengers and their baggage, as well as for providing other security-related services.”
Ryanair passengers who buy tickets from January 1, 2012, will have to pay the charge of €7 (US$9) before departure from the airport, either at the airline’s ticket office or during check-in, or in advance at the airport services office, located in arrivals.  To avoid delays, the airport has requested that Ryanair passengers arrive at least two and a half hours before their flight departure.
The security charge will not be collected from transit and transfer passengers, nor those under the age of two.
The charge is for the passenger and their baggage screening, airport security and crisis management (including rescue operations).  Aircraft flight safety and civil aviation security supervision is also covered by the charge.
Security was previously financed by the state budget and the airport has stated that the security charge will only be collected from departing passengers.