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stevron

to pay or not to pay

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When we talk about paying or not paying landing fee, I think pilots frequenting landing areas like Porepunkah and other outer rural location are happy to assist with a donation.

Generally these ALAs have a dedicated group of volunteers doing the maintenance and most pilots enjoy/appreciate the work these people put in .

GA which includes RA Aus and Gliding clubs are being forgotten and in some cases driven from air fields. Redevelopment of landing areas is a serious concern, some air field operators are looking for a short term gain ,but what are the local communities loosing and it not just an air field.

Aopa, SAAA, RA Aus should and could do more to secure the access to descent facilities and tell the operators of the larger air fields give us a break .

For my money, I tend to support regional ALAs and their communities as they need more help than larger regional operations.

Someone should ask the larger airfield operators, is the small amount of money collected from individual pilots worth chasing pilots away from these regional centres ?

 

My guess is that if airfield operators had a hard look at what it costs their local communities if pilots stay away, they might / should reconsider the fees imposed on the GA/RA pilot family and stop the destruction of such important infrastructure because if it continues it will put lives at risk . I understand Fee charging regional airfields retain very small portion of the landing fee after collection fees are deducted. My question Is it worth it.

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I would have no argument paying fees direct to the relevant organisations who own the airfields. What I object to is Avdata charging exorbitant commissions, call it what you like.....where the parent organisation gets no benefit from Avdata towards its airfields, and Aviators get ripped off.

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

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I understand Fee charging regional airfields retain very small portion of the landing fee after collection fees are deducted. My question Is it worth it.
Of course bloody not. But we're pilots and we know that. We know that we don't all drive a 2019 Lexus or are dropped off in a stretch limo. But so far as the local council is concerned "Youse all own a plane, youse must be rich" (sic).

 

I crunched some numbers the other day after doing a few circuits at Mudgee last month. I got one circuit in every 3.3 minutes in the RV-9, so according to the Central Coast Council, that means I am up for $150 an hour in landing fees, though that is down from $495/hr last year. And that's just landing fees, for a sub-600kg RV. The bloke who owns Somersby charges me $300/month for unlimited movements and that includes hangarage - though there's no T&G's to be had at Somersby!

 

I don't mind paying landing fees to a private airfield owner, club or organisation, but if it is a council asset, then unless they charge boaties to use a boat ramp, or a motorist to drive down your main street, then I don't feel I should pay to use their airfield. It is an asset like the local footy oval, skate park or road into town that brings everyone else (and their spending money) in.

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I would have no argument paying fees direct to the relevant organisations who own the airfields. What I object to is Avdata charging exorbitant commissions, call it what you like.....where the parent organisation gets no benefit from Avdata towards its airfields, and Aviators get ripped off.

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

To achieve that someone has to start the ball rolling with a better policy which is not based on a company hiring staff to collect these fees and putting a company markup on their costs.

Inevitably this is exponentially more expensive than leaving money in a tin, but here we are, the bastards didn't pay when they had the chance to pay a nominal amount, they artfully dodged the more expensive methods used by Councils, and now many more people will be paying because once the corporate system of money collection proved more cost effective than the Council staff method, the Company appears to have gone out and promoted its income producing service.

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Of course bloody not. But we're pilots and we know that. We know that we don't all drive a 2019 Lexus or are dropped off in a stretch limo. But so far as the local council is concerned "Youse all own a plane, youse must be rich" (sic).

 

I crunched some numbers the other day after doing a few circuits at Mudgee last month. I got one circuit in every 3.3 minutes in the RV-9, so according to the Central Coast Council, that means I am up for $150 an hour in landing fees, though that is down from $495/hr last year. And that's just landing fees, for a sub-600kg RV. The bloke who owns Somersby charges me $300/month for unlimited movements and that includes hangarage - though there's no T&G's to be had at Somersby!

 

I don't mind paying landing fees to a private airfield owner, club or organisation, but if it is a council asset, then unless they charge boaties to use a boat ramp, or a motorist to drive down your main street, then I don't feel I should pay to use their airfield. It is an asset like the local footy oval, skate park or road into town that brings everyone else (and their spending money) in.

 

Obviously I overlooked the way some Councils charge, Sorry. Councils maybe need to look at how they treat Aviation, can the RAA lobby Councils on our half for a better deal? No doubt certain Councils will end up on an informal “don’t fly there” list, If they charge like wounded bulls.

Would Aviators have a better argument at their local Council airfield, IF they were ratepayers to that Council? The boat ramp/sports field argument comes to mind.

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

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Stevron, you mention Porepunka in your opening comments. A quick flight up the Kiewa Valley from Albury. I am a hangar owner at Porepunkah and delighted to say the local council has a strong commitment to the airport.

Alpine shire is responsible for Mount Beauty and Porepukah fields, both of which would have to be among the most scenic in Australia.

The Shire released more land at the north end of Porepunkah a year or so ago, and I was fortunate enough to secure a lot, 12 x 20 mtrs.

Hangar owners lease the land from the council, based on the area of the hangar. During construction of some of the new hangars, a drainage issue was discovered, that could impact on hangar construction. To the Shires credit, drainage of the entire new release has been undertaken, with a sealed taxi-way. At the Shire's expense. New hangars will be required to install sub drainage connected to the master drainage system.

The landing fee charged to visiting aircraft, by donation goes directly to airport running costs, as does leasing fees, administered by Porepunkah Airport Association.

My hangar lease includes exemption from landing fees, and all my costs are less than half I paid for rental space at Yarrawonga.

Anyone looking for a council, sympathetic to aviation, need look no further than Porepunkah and Mount Beauty.

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SHEPPARTON Council has introduced landing fees of $11.00 per ton pro rata with a minimum $11.00 fee and I fear the Avdata virus is spreading rapidly across Victoria.

 

The GV Aero Club has managed to negotiate an annual fee of $190 including GST paid direct to Council by local aircraft and Aeroclub members? Club membership is $100 pa. On the positive side, Council has cancelled the former “infrastructure” fees paid by locals. Short term parking remains free.

 

A C172 Skyhawk has a MTOW of 1113 kg so a fee of $13.25 would be payable. The Annual Fee would be recouped after 15 landings for the year. A Bonanza would recoup costs even more quickly.

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Councils maybe need to look at how they treat Aviation, can the RAA lobby Councils on our half for a better deal?

You've got the wrong end of the stick there Jack!

The RAA are now part of the problem, not the solution....

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You've got the wrong end of the stick there Jack!

The RAA are now part of the problem, not the solution....

In that case the RAA needs to research the situation and see what plan can be made towards a better outcome for members.

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

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To achieve that someone has to start the ball rolling with a better policy which is not based on a company hiring staff to collect these fees and putting a company markup on their costs.

Inevitably this is exponentially more expensive than leaving money in a tin, but here we are, the bastards didn't pay when they had the chance to pay a nominal amount, they artfully dodged the more expensive methods used by Councils, and now many more people will be paying because once the corporate system of money collection proved more cost effective than the Council staff method, the Company appears to have gone out and promoted its income producing service.

 

Too true! Avdata is one of the many 'middlemen' companies who are inserting themselves between the real user and the landlord. It adds at least 40% to the bill - AFAIK. But, we are Aussies, and Aussies hate the 'user pays' concept, especially when it comes to small amounts. Which is why we baulk at small charges and avoid any voluntary payment system at airports. Rather akin to our hatred of the 'gratuities' economy so beloved by the USA: and never more so than where the 'gratuity' = tip), is actually added to your bill as a matter of course, but you are then invited to tip in cash if you think the service was good! Outrageous you say? Not wrong.

 

We had to drag our airport owner into the current millennia some years back by recommending an annual landing fee for locals, vs daily for itinerants. It took them some time to do the sums on recovery costs for a recalcitrant pilot, who might stretch repayment of $11.00 through 3 months worth of reminders and recovery threats. For those of us who are active more than 16-17 days per year - a single annual invoice is far, far preferable.

 

We operate an RAAus flying school, and our airport landlord classes us as a 'commercial' entity, and so the Brumby is billed for around $700 for annual landing fees. Our hangar lease costs $10/m2, which in our case sets us back $3300 just for starters. Then, under the airport 'conditions of use' manifesto, we need $20m of insurance cover - which aint cheap! So, our Brumby requires around $3500 worth of annual insurance, or, about $20+/hr of training. The landing fees pale into insignificance when you consider the punitive insurance we incur ($700/200 = $3.50/hr).

 

In hindsight, perhaps 20 years ago we should have leased a paddock several miles out, and set up there. However, all of our students expect to fly off the city airport, and they expect not just a nice aircraft, but reasonable school comforts as well. Overheads continue to rise, and that makes it near impossible to operate an FTF at under $200/hr.

 

It occurs to me that none of our organisations is actually capable of, or seriously has intent, in dealing with this landing fee issue. Every airport, and every landlord, is a different situation and it really comes back to ourselves, (or our local groups), to negotiate for the best 'local' arrangements.Dealing direct with them puts our faces to the issue, and does help achieve more useful outcomes. It will always involve compromise, as local politics is a factor. Increasing the pilot numbers, the aircraft numbers, the local activities, and creating a positive profile with ratepayers will all assist us to get a better deal.

 

happy days,

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