AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

77 Replies

AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Daria Knupp on Aug 29, 2017 10:59 am

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With the filing of official complaints to the FAA, AOPA rolled out the next phase of its ongoing effort to tackle egregious fees charged by certain fixed-base operations around the country. The move comes after months of effort identifying the worst offenders and attempting to work with local airport sponsors receptive to ensuring their communities offer pilots reasonable access to their airfields, often described as the local on and off ramps to the National Airspace System. Read more here.

Have you experienced any egregious FBO pricing practices? 
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Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Ronald Levy on May 6, 2019 10:29 pm

Richard Gallaher:
I still say say if there are no free ramps to park on use the taxiway or runway.

Of all the things likely to happen, AOPA support for that idea isn't one of them.  One more time -- try reading the FAA Compliance Manual linked above thoroughly and carefully, and then get an attorney who understands Federal anti-trust and aviation law to explain why your ideas have no basis in law.

Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Edward Klapka on May 10, 2019 9:32 pm

The FAA should recognize and implement a system similar to public parking and valet parking.  Every airport subject to the Grant Assurances should be required to provide low cost transient parking and ramp access (eg public parking).  Airports are encouraged to recoup their costs to stay out of the red, hence I say low cost instead of free.  Those desiring to use FBO services would be subject to higher fees from the FBO for those services.

Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Ronald Levy on May 11, 2019 6:11 pm

So who's going to pay for the construction, operation, and maintenance of those "low-cost" parking areas?  The airport?  Where do they get the funds?

Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Michael Hounslow on May 18, 2019 11:40 am

Ronald Levy:
So who's going to pay for the construction, operation, and maintenance of those "low-cost" parking areas?  The airport?  Where do they get the funds?

We already pay "funds".  The fuel we buy is taxed by the Feds and the State.  My local airport charges me an annual "use fee" based on GW of the airplane.  My personal 2550 lb aircraft pays $255.00 per year, my boss's airplane costs $1600/ year.  I pay the local FBO $150/month for a tie down, my boss pays $2700/mth for a hangar.  In each statement, is another kicker to the County government (another tax) for the right to park my airplane at a public airport.  When does the government STOP making us pay?  Let's talk about my Cherokee and taxes....I paid $3000 in sales taxes to buy the plane...ergo, $3000 to the state budget...what do they do for me with that money?  Answer: Nothing....right now they are busy using those kinds of funds to house, feed and school illegals entering our country.  I buy $4500 worth of Avgas every year and the Feds run off with $400 of that money and the state runs off with $330of that money leaving the FBO and oil company with the rest.  I pay $255 to the county directly in a user fee and $240 indirectly through my parking space.  This is one Cherokee with one owner.  I haven't flown anywhere yet but up in the sky.   Then comes the "avoid Signature, avoid Sheltair, avoid Millionaire, avoid Atlantic" syndrome.  Touching anyone of these FBO's puts a serious dent in my pocket either with $7.00-$8.00/gallon fuel or the "pay us $65 for nothing" routine.  Just think of all the places I used to go to but cant any more.  Atlantic City...cant afford it.  Hilton Head, cant afford it, BWI, cant afford it.  Albany, NY, cant afford it, St. Pete, FL, cant afford it, Ocala, FL, cant afford it, the list goes on and on of places I cant afford to fly because the FBO's don't want little planes or have a model that only allows big aircraft and big budgets.  And BTW, if I don't go to ACY, that means Atlantic City vendors (Uber, taxi, food, entertainment, beach support and sundries) don't get my paltry spending dollars.  Sure, I don't gamble but if I spent the day tourist or sunning in ACY, there's a good chance I blow $100-200 in town to businesses.  However, when Signature shakes me down for $140 before I even get anywhere, well that little FBO run by the city in Ocean City is just fine...THEY can take my money.  We pilots joke about the $100 hamburger.  If you say ACY today in my airplane it costs $50 at my FBO prices to get there and $50 to get back.. if I go to MIV to the little cafe, I'm out $100 plus lunch.  If I go to ACY, though, it now costs $170 in aviation expenses and the cost of the burger.  The $70 difference goes to the bottom line of a large FBO vendor IF I would pay it which I won't.  My friends would like the thrill of flying to ACY and I might pay a premium but I am not going to take a 70% increase in operating costs just to walk through the gate at ACY.  The only losers in this game are the business folks in Atlantic City who don't get my business due to a "restrictive" trade policy at the airport.

Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Ronald Levy on May 19, 2019 6:53 am

Do some research on the issues.  The Federal fuel tax money doesn't go for ramps or parking areas. The money you pay your airport doesn't pay for ramps at other airports.  The money you pay your state doesn't pay for airports in other states.  None of that money goes to the FBO's who are paying ground rent to the airport for the spaces where you want to park.  It's just not as simple as you seem to think.

Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Richard Gallaher on May 19, 2019 12:55 pm

The grants are given all the time to even control birds around the airports...if the airport is not 'private'. It is pretty clear the local people are just too dumb to run an airport or they are more interested in ripping people off that are passing through... kind of like what was done by gas stations along the freeways when they first began to open across the country. Even federal freeways  have 'Rest Stops' now. 
Now that AOPA has filed a formal complaint, it is up to the US government to act, This should include the congress, maybe the BLM could seize all airport land. 
Yes, this could even be considered a matter of national security. The federal government should emanate domain all airports and immediate connecting property. 

Lets do this the Democrat / Socialist way, because the locals are just too out of control.

Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Ronald Levy on May 20, 2019 6:47 am

Is Richard Gallaher a relative of Jonathan Swift?  But I do appreciate good satire.