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"Based Aircraft Fee"?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 7th 05, 12:56 PM
Jim Kellett
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Default "Based Aircraft Fee"?

A Club in SSA Region IV, operating at a public airport, is facing the
imposition of a "Based Aircraft Fee" in addition to hangar rental.

Is anyone aware of any public airport, one at which gliders operate or not,
that charges a fee, in addition to tiedown or hangar fee, for "basing" the
aircraft there? ("Basing" means in residence for more than five days . . .)

PLEASE REPLY PRIVATE rather than to the list (or reply private in addition
to the list)

Thanks in advance.

Jim Kellett


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  #2  
Old July 7th 05, 02:34 PM
F.L. Whiteley
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Default

Jim Kellett wrote:

A Club in SSA Region IV, operating at a public airport, is facing the
imposition of a "Based Aircraft Fee" in addition to hangar rental.

Is anyone aware of any public airport, one at which gliders operate or
not, that charges a fee, in addition to tiedown or hangar fee, for
"basing" the
aircraft there? ("Basing" means in residence for more than five days . .
.)

PLEASE REPLY PRIVATE rather than to the list (or reply private in addition
to the list)

Thanks in advance.

Jim Kellett

Googling a bit, it looks like there are variations on the theme. Some are
based on gross weight, reduced or no fee below certain gross. Others that
charge a based fee also waive landing fees. Certainly nothing new in
airport operations, within or outside the USA. Many airport managers are
on an upward career path, or want to be. Any body figured out this one,
where he came from and thinks he's going? He still answers to a local
airport board. It's probably their decision and a response to lower
overall fuel sales or some other budgetary strain. Locally, we have a
county/city airport 50/50 partnership. Over the years, the county has had
more money for the airport than the city, so the city has had to divert
funds from other city projects for match county contributions. Who needs
storm drains anyway? (The one under the airport is 10ft in diameter BTW).

Here in Colorado, through a few years of drought, the public responded with
water conservation. The result, higher water fees, since the water
districts weren't selling enough water to pay their bloated salaries and
staff. Increases have been way higher than the rate of inflation. 60-80%
increases in the past three years are not uncommon.

If fuel prices pinch general aviation, it's likely that local public
airports will seek new revenue streams, especially if fuel consumption
plunges. Locally, the markup on 100LL on self-serve is at least $0.65/gal
and $1.45/gal on full serve, and probably more.

Although this sounds upbeat at first and is favorable though neutral as far
as the issue's concerned, http://tinyurl.com/bropl, I don't see any
acceptance or movement on the part of management, nor the FAA.
Management's already pulled the 'safety card', so it's a slippery, uphill
slope to get things back. We had a local small, private airport put back
into use as an ultralight/hangglide park. It had only been off the
sectionals for a short while. Big NIMBY troubles. Historical use was of
no value when it got to court. BTW, Barry Aviation ran into exactly this
same problem in Florda and lost use of the grass strip there. As a result,
they are no longer in the ride business there.

In both cases (if they aren't the same case), it might be tactful to suggest
that driving away gliders will impact their annual numbers by hundreds or
thousands of transitions, dropping the entire airport into another class as
far as federal funds are concerned. An economic analysis might show it
would be in the club's interest to acquire a site and move on. Sod their
rents, fees, and fuel sales. Has the AOPA offered assistance or been
asked?

Frank Whiteley
 




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