After the privatisation of Ercan airport, the tender winning company has been raising fees for the businesses that provide services from the airport. Our report last week highlighted the complaints of taxi drivers at Ercan, who were resisting an increase in the cost of renewing their taxi permits. Currently, there are 36 licenced taxis operating from the airport.
The sale of official ‘T’ permits is forbidden by law but this has not stopped a lucrative trade in them. It is estimated that the black market price for a ‘T’ permit is currently around £100,000. The going rate shows the potential for profits from the taxi trade.
A recent investigation revealed some startling facts about these taxis.
- Of the 36 official taxis, only 10 are used by their owners. The remainder are rented out
- There are ‘T’ permit holders who are not qualified to drive as they do not have valid driving licences
- A number of ‘T’ permit holders work without the required TRNC work permits
- There are ‘T’ permit holders who have been convicted of drunk driving
It has been estimated that if the regulations relating to the ‘Law on Carriage of Passengers and Goods by Motor Carriage’ were to be properly applied then 24 of the 36 taxis would have their licenses revoked.
In Istanbul, wealthy investors including national football players often invest in taxi licences which regularly trade hands for TL650,000.