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Recreational aircraft landing fees - feedback needed please.


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Does your airfield waive landing fees for recreational aircraft and how is this done?

Do landing fees impact on your flight planning?

 

I know landing fee discussions are done to death but my aero club (Broken Hill) is looking at putting a proposal to council to waive these costs for recreational flights. We believe the city loses traffic due to the charges but evidence in anecdotal. Some airfields offer exemption by application/registration and some just don't charge. Any information you provide which supports our proposal can be incorporated into a proposal. 

 

 

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My home base airport, Port Pirie SA, is owned and operated by the Port Pirie Regional Council. Their policy is NOT to charge landing fees and to welcome visiting aviators who are most likely to stay o

Spot on, Paul, but don’t hold your breath…   Without any consultation, our local council recently announced they will be charging landing fees. Later, during a box-ticking meeting I was told

My weekend flying has changed since Shepparton and Bendigo introduced landing fees. I used to go there regularly but don't now. The fees are not a big deal compared to the cost of running an aircraft,

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Gawler, SA.
No recreational landing fees. We do charge for commercial flights, $10 per engine from memory 

Ken

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Simple, just have a weight limit like a lot of other airports have.

 

Anything under 1500 kg is exempt from charges, anything with an RA-Aus registration is exempt from charges.

 

They have no effect on the durability of the airport with regards to maintenance but they have a huge influence on People buying fuel, Staying in accommodation, eating at restaurants and using taxi services.

 

I know back when I was flying a lot I would not avoid, but have a preference for, airports with facilities that didn't charge recreational aircraft.

 

I am guessing with an overnight stop and fuel and taxis and food I would be putting $400 into the community every overnight stop.   500 of these recreational aircraft every year and it is another $200,000 into the local food chain, something that cannot be sneezed at !

 

A couple of problems for the airports is that a private company does the planning fee charges for the airport owners. I have heard that if the landing fees are $10 then the airport owner gets only $4 dollars and the rest is going to Avdata Or whatever they are called so, the airport themselves are not getting the majority of the funds. Also, Avdata has a vested interest in charging every movement because this means they are getting more money.  Piss them off and make it free for everybody except RPT

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I can't understand why say $10  would be a problem on an honor system. Airfields take a lot of maintenance. It's not reasonable to expect it free. The way It's often done collecting the money costs too high a % of the fee.. There have been instances of people using incorrect callsigns to to avoid paying. Nev

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People use incorrect call signs all the time. When I had a glider I would quite often get landing fees for places like Darwin, Jandacott and other remote places 3000 km away from where the glider was based. It then took three months of arguing to say I didn't fly from Mount Isa to Darwin in one day !

 

I have no problem whatsoever making a contribution if it goes straight to the operator but when you have 1/3 party taking 60% of the income then it really annoys me. You have to remember that a lot of the facilities are actually partly funded by the government so we are paying for them indirectly through our taxes. If the airport is owned by a local council then we are paying already through our rates.

 

Imagine if there was a charge that could be enforced for using something like a boat ramp, or going to the park for a picnic. Don't get me started on fishing licenses for the two or three times a year I go fishing.  (and never catch anything)

Edited by FlyBoy1960
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I had the same problem also any times. Avdata is a running PROVEN disaster Take it out of the equation. WE never agreed for it to be THE MEDIUM of our payment without an alternative. Nev

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1 hour ago, Kenlsa said:

Gawler, SA.
No recreational landing fees. We do charge for commercial flights, $10 per engine from memory 

Ken

Thanks Ken, this is the sort of stuff which is helpful. We need examples to put to our council. Please try and keep that in mind for this thread.

 

Does your airfield waive landing fees for recreational aircraft and how is this done?

Do landing fees impact on your flight planning?

 

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My weekend flying has changed since Shepparton and Bendigo introduced landing fees. I used to go there regularly but don't now. The fees are not a big deal compared to the cost of running an aircraft, but they tell me I am not welcome. My passengers and I can go elsewhere and buy lunch.

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4 hours ago, waraton said:

Does your airfield waive landing fees for recreational aircraft and how is this done?

Do landing fees impact on your flight planning?

 

I know landing fee discussions are done to death but my aero club (Broken Hill) is looking at putting a proposal to council to waive these costs for recreational flights. We believe the city loses traffic due to the charges but evidence in anecdotal. Some airfields offer exemption by application/registration and some just don't charge. Any information you provide which supports our proposal can be incorporated into a proposal. 

 

 

20210427_152557.jpg

An airfield up my way has landing fees; and these are reasonable. In recent years they waive the landing fee if you purchase fuel or have a feed at the cafe on the field.  This is great, as we semi regularly go there and have brecky or visit the town for the day as there is a bus service.  Very pro aviation.  Something like that may work at Broken Hill.

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4 minutes ago, Blueadventures said:

An airfield up my way has landing fees; and these are reasonable. In recent years they waive the landing fee if you purchase fuel or have a feed at the cafe on the field.  This is great, as we semi regularly go there and have brecky or visit the town for the day as there is a bus service.  Very pro aviation.  Something like that may work at Broken Hill.

Thats a great suggestion...bureaucracy loves options. Thanks

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While I fully understand that advocating some fee paying is not likely to be universally popular, I do believe expecting it to be a no cost is not realistic. Charging  for each circuit or an approach I wouldn't support. Aeroplanes do damage a grass strip and when the grass deteriorates the strip gets very rough and has to be repaired. ,Not easy or cheap.. Nev

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While Facthunter is right, as usual, there is a case to be made that some  fees are counter-productive. A couple of years ago, a group from Gawler were looking hard at a trip to Broken Hill.

It did not eventuate, and the costs were a definite factor in our decision to can the proposal.

The hard fact is that there are some among us who are reasonably well-off, and others who earn wages and hire club aircraft. Landing fees would definitely add to their difficulties.

So Broken Hill missed out on about a dozen visitors, most of whom would have spent good money in the town.

Personally, I would have been happy with visiting the secondary recreational airfield, but more wanted to land at the town bitumen strip. Dust and prop damage from stones would have been in their thinking.

And , if we had come, what would this have cost the council? The answer is nothing, the airfield is bitumen not grass,  yet by us not coming, a few grand was withheld from the town traders.

 

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If it has landing fees, I don't go there.

If places like Narromine and Temora don't see the need to change landing fees why do places like Gunnedah. 

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Ycab will soon be introducing landing fees. These will only be for commercial aircraft and flying schools regardless. All receational and private aircraft will be exempt

 

These fees will NOT be going to council coffers they are direct to the aeroclub to provide the huge maintenance bills that are accruing because of overuse of the runways and taxiways

 

This is fair...user pays for those that make money from use of the airfield...this is how all airfields should be run. 

 

Mark

 

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1 hour ago, Kyle Communications said:

Ycab will soon be introducing landing fees. These will only be for commercial aircraft and flying schools regardless. All receational and private aircraft will be exempt

 

These fees will NOT be going to council coffers they are direct to the aeroclub to provide the huge maintenance bills that are accruing because of overuse of the runways and taxiways

 

This is fair...user pays for those that make money from use of the airfield...this is how all airfields should be run. 

 

Mark

 

I don't totally agree with you Mark. Unfortunately it is not the flying school that  ends up paying the landing fee's, it is the student.

A friend who owns a flying school at a regional airfield calculated it would cost him approximately $65,000 based on last year's landings and increase the hourly rate for training by 10%.

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Kiwi of course that is the fact...someone has to pay eventually....but user pays is the only fair system. The damage and wearing out of our runways by the obscene amount of movements now at our airfield is just crazy.

We used to just maintain with club members before all this govt subsidized traing hex style has come in. At Ycab now there are 3 rec flying schools and 2 of them do some GA training and we have another that has 6 GA aircraft and about 5 or 6 helicopters and its literally non stopn all day almost every day of the week

 

I have made a radio monitoring unit that gets all the radio calls automatically and records them. This then gets decoded to get the call signs..same as what Avdata do to be able to gauge TO and Landings. I have been testing it this past couple of weeks from my house before it goes down to the airfield for some more fine tuning...I was shocked at how many movements there are on a daily basis..this is why the airfield is being torn apart.

 

How many calls do you think there is in one week of ops..............over 10000 !!!!!!!. How do I know this???...every radio call is recorded when the mute of the monitoring radio and a single file is created. After 1 week there are 10,000 files. 99.9% of those files are genuine calls

 

Now some are from Caloundra but not as many as Ycab...I am tailoring it so I can pretty much clip all the caloundra ones within reason. On some calcs I have done and listening out of that 10000 there are more than 6 to 7000 for YCAB..base about 3 calls per circuit so thats more than 2000 landings per week !!!! and I believe that is conservative

 

Flying training is expensive now and its just going to be one of those things. Unless someone gives us 150k + a year out of the goodness of their hearts where does the money come from...private ops at Ycab are well in the minority now. maybe the average private op is about once a week at best.

 

 

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7 hours ago, facthunter said:

I can't understand why say $10  would be a problem on an honor system. Airfields take a lot of maintenance. It's not reasonable to expect it free. The way It's often done collecting the money costs too high a % of the fee.. There have been instances of people using incorrect callsigns to to avoid paying. Nev

Remember - Most airfields were public property, developed & maintained by tax payers dollars. Sold off or given to the Councils (where rate payers maintain them). Its all well and good for users to be charged but how many times will the user/tax /rate payer have to fork out. Bicycle riders  & pedestrian's do not contribute directly to road maintenance, why? because they do not impact on the wear/tear of the road. RAA class aircraft have little or not impact on the runway surfaces - if they use other facilities like hangers & tie downs there may be case for  a charge.

 

The aircraft weight concept has merit as it is this class that does the damage and is mostly in the bushiness to make a profit. 

 

Privately owned/managed airfield are a completely different matter. It is only reasonable that they charge users to maintained the facility in good order.

Edited by skippydiesel
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Ycab aeroclub is the leasee of the whole area from the MBRC..we maintain the airfield and all its facilites and pay the total insurance for the airfield and hangars. We also build the hangars that are privately owned and rent some of them also charge the hangar owners a lease and insurance fee per year which is very reasonable. It is not a public airfield. All club members are charged a small maint fee each year and that has been fine previously but since the huge increase in ops by commercial operations this is where it has all been falling apart.

The airfield was developed by the club and its members some 25 to 30 years ago so no public money was ever used to get it to where it is now

 

To be honest I would be happy if we got rid of most of all the commercial ops and just stayed with the private ops and small amount of RAA style aircraft training and I have no doubt that we would have been no worse off as we had been before and there would be no need to charge landing fees. Why the sudden increase in commercial ops...well I wont say anything about that but I am sure you can guess

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Kiwi said:

I don't totally agree with you Mark. Unfortunately it is not the flying school that  ends up paying the landing fee's, it is the student.

A friend who owns a flying school at a regional airfield calculated it would cost him approximately $65,000 based on last year's landings and increase the hourly rate for training by 10%.

The student is being saddled with increasing costs, due to more fancy aircraft, briefing time charges not in hourly rate, then add landing fees and any other surcharges etc.The hourly training costs in many cases well exceed $300 per hour,  RPC costs are rising fast and it can only hinder the sector and that is why I would like to see a lower cost Foundation Aviation regime as RAA is climbing towards GA costs. 

Add in the fact we are are not heading in to prosperous times in the future, either.

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South Grafton is operated and fully funded by the Hangar Owners Association. We pay the Crown Lands lease, Rates, Insurance, do all the maintenance like cones, mowing, runway/taxiway sealing, fencing, drainage, windsocks, toilets, the list goes on. All of the labour is voluntarily provided by our members. Owners of Aircraft domiciled there are charged $200.00 a year to help with these costs and we charge landing fees of $5.00 per RA & $10.00 per GA aircraft and it is on a voluntary honesty box system.

 

Our fixed costs are around $50k a year so I think it is fair to ask people who use the facilities that we pay for, to contribute a small amount in appreciation for the provision of the facilities. A majority of visiting pilots do so but there are still quite a number who expect a free lunch. We live in a user pays society so when I find pilots who refuse to pay I do not welcome them back.

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There is no alternative in our airfields case....well there are two really..close down all commercial ops or charge landing fees to the ones that are doing all the damage ...its pretty simple. Of course there is another..close the airfield...let everyone who owns a hangar there lose all of those assets and let the council sell it all off for housing or industrial land

 

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I see no objection to reasonable landing fees, but when Avdata become involved, they want their cut and they provide NOTHING  towards Aviation.  They just rake off money, but only because Councils don’t want to directly manage a ratepayer asset.

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