Boeing Field captures N numbers, unintended consequences

January 31, 2008

Boeing Field captures N numbers, unintended consequences

By AOPA ePublishing staff

Boeing Field/King County International officials installed an automated system last year to record N numbers of all landing aircraft for operational purposes, including charging a landing fee to transient aircraft. The actions were based on a county law that has been in place since 1972. But the system isn’t working quite right.

It’s capturing the N numbers of transient and based general aviation aircraft. AOPA staff and Boeing Field AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Jim Combs are working with the Washington Pilots Association and King County officials to fix the problem.

The airport has been able to charge a landing fee for years under a local law, but it didn’t start enforcing the law until about a year ago.

“We’re working with King County officials to help them recognize that the law needs to be reworked,” said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airports. “Charging landing fees to based GA and corporate aircraft is unacceptable.”

On the matter of tracking N numbers to charge fees, AOPA is concerned that it will become an increasing threat to aircraft owners across the country.

“The problem with tracking N numbers to charge fees is that aircraft owners who don’t meet the criteria for being charged will still end up with a bill,” Dunn said. “We’re seeing more and more instances in which pilots are wrongly charged. We will work to prevent this from becoming a common burden on pilots.”

January 31, 2008