Simply stated, it is an industry led effort urging online FBO pricing and ramp fee transparency. The general aviation community believes pilots should have easy online access to fees prior to arriving at an FBO. The industry call to encourage FBOs to make prices easily accessible online was released by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Helicopter Association International (HAI), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
AOPA has heard from thousands of pilots that have been surprised by a number of FBO ramp fees. These include tie-down fees, facility fees, infrastructure fees, access fees, security fees, handling fees, and even fees for being picked up by a taxi at an FBO. Most of the complaints are pointed to large chain FBOs or where an FBO has a monopoly position. Pilots suggest they are often charged for services they don’t ask for or receive. AOPA, along with its industry colleagues, believe all pilots of both piston and turbine aircraft should have easy online access to FBO fee information so they can make informed pre-flight planning decisions.
What Is Ramp Transparency?
Ramp transparency is an industry led effort to urge standardization of GA parking labels for use on Airport Diagrams – GA Transient Ramp, GA Tenant Ramp, FBO Ramp, and CBP Ramp. Today, there are over 700 airport diagrams currently published by the FAA and the agency plans to increase that number to nearly 3,000.
AOPA conducted a review of airport diagrams and found as many as 30 different parking terms for the same type of ramp in Southern California alone. So, you can imagine what that looks like on a national scale.
Many airports currently have transient general aviation parking areas that are available to pilots but are either not labeled or labeled in a way that is not clear or relevant to the ramps purpose. Often, pilots don’t require the services of an FBO but are unaware that an alternative ramp exists. This industry led effort makes sense, especially as the number of airports with diagrams will soon grow exponentially. This effort will also bring needed transparency to airport ramp areas, where applicable, giving all pilots an opportunity to again make informed pre-flight planning decisions.