Pilots, instructors, and airport staff at Oakland International Airport breathed a sigh of relief after a June 27 decision exempted Oakland Flyers, the airport's lone flight school, from a proposed $47 landing fee.
AOPA worked closely with local advocates to help educate port staff of the consequences for student pilots, the flight school, and the aviation industry itself should the fee be enacted. In a June 26 letter, AOPA urged the Board of Port Commissioners to waive the landing fee, stating the importance of flight schools to the community and the aviation industry.
With its fleet of Piper, Cessna, and Bellanca aircraft, Oakland Flyers has been operating on the field for 30 years as a flight school. The operation is key to helping address the demand for those who want to fly for their own personal use or for those who would like to pursue a career in aviation.
With an estimated 20 student landings each day, or around 7,300 per year, Oakland Flyers would be subject to $350,000 at the minimum landing fee rate, which would make training at Oakland International nearly financially impossible.
Everyone is pleased that the port authority made the right decision, which will allow for quality flight training operations to continue and provide a valuable service to the aviation industry and the local economy.
A second reading of the ordinance will occur in July before it becomes official.