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AOPA looking into high prices

An AOPA review has found indications that some fixed-base operators may be charging excessive fees for fuel and other services. According to federal law, prices and services at airports that receive funds under the Airport Improvement Program must be “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory,” but AOPA members have reported experiencing issues with things like landing fees, ramp fees, and fuel pricing.

AOPA President Mark Baker said the problem appears to be with a few FBOs and not the industry as a whole.

“FBOs provide an important service to pilots and local communities, and the vast majority of the industry is doing a great job,” said Baker. “But following member inquiries, we looked into the issue and believe that a number of FBOs may be charging above-market prices.”

AOPA reached out to the FAA to make the case on behalf of members. AOPA requested that the FAA review the charges and fees being imposed at some public-use airports and to ensure they are reasonable as required by law.

The FAA has two regulatory avenues to address complaints about airports, and the agency told AOPA that “FBO issues have been the most common issue in both these processes.”

“Most of our questions center around a few FBOs at airports with more than 25,000 annual operations that have experienced FBO industry consolidation and have airport sponsors that collect a percentage of revenue generated by fees paid by general aviation users,” said AOPA General Counsel Ken Mead.

AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Jim Coon said, “AOPA has met with the FAA about pricing concerns and will continue to work with the government and other industry stakeholders to gather information.”

Baker explained that AOPA wants to continue to assess the situation and work toward solutions that preserve the profitability of FBOs while at the same time adhering to pricing obligations.

AOPA would like to hear from members if they believe they have experienced unreasonable fees or prices. Please contact us about your experiences.

Joe Kildea
Joe Kildea
AOPA Senior Director of Communications
Joe is a student pilot and his first solo flight was at AOPA’s home airport in Frederick, Maryland. Before joining AOPA in 2015, he worked for numerous political campaigns, news organizations, and the White House Press Office.
Topics: Advocacy, Financial, FBO Fees

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