November 4, 2008
By Elizabeth A Tennyson
A tough economy and uniquely high fuel prices mean pilots at rural airports cannot afford proposed lease rate increases, AOPA told Alaska aviation officials.
In an Oct. 31 letter, AOPA noted that plans to raise rural lease rates by 10 percent per year until market rates are reached could cripple aviation in the current economic climate. The letter also pointed out that pilots at rural Alaska airports aren’t benefitting from the falling fuel prices seen in most of the country. That’s because fuel costs are tied to deliveries, which occur only during the summer when fuel can be shipped in on barges. As a result, AOPA is urging state officials to hold lease rates steady in the coming year.
In May, AOPA filed comments opposing lease rate increases of as much as 50 percent at rural airports. While an emergency regulation repealed those increases, the newest proposal would set the cap for rate hikes at 10 percent per year. But even that may be too much under current economic conditions and could force many businesses to close, AOPA warned.
Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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