How do landing fees work at larger airports?

Geoffrey Gallaway
  • How do landing fees work at larger airports? Geoffrey Gallaway

    Many larger airports (class Bravos) have a landing fee. What's the process for assessing and collecting the fees?

    1. How do these landing fees work with general aviation aircraft?
    2. Where can I find out what the fee will be? Is it published?
    3. How will I be charged the fee? (Pay before leaving the airport, bill sent to my home, etc.)
    4. Is the landing fee a flat rate or is it calculated based on aircraft weight or some other factor?
    5. I've heard that the landing fee is generally waived if you buy a few gallons of (overpriced) gas at an FBO, is that true?

    Example scenario: I offer to take a friend up for a scenic flight. He lives very close to a moderately busy class B airport while my home airport and FBO is over an hour away from him. I offer to fly into the class B airport to pick him up and then drop him off at the end of the flight.

  • Well, the short version is that there really isn't a standard (and this applies to small as well as large airports).

    • Some airport authorities charge fees that are billed through the FBO, some don't.
    • Some airport authorities bill you directly, some don't.
    • Normally you pay at the FBO before you leave.
    • Most of the FBO's set their own fees (although they may come from corporate).
    • Some FBO's don't charge any fees (although not very many these days).
    • Some FBO's waive some (or all) of their fees if you buy fuel, some don't.
    • Most FBO's charge a fee based on the size/class/weight of aircraft, some don't.

    In short, call ahead to the FBO that you will be using and ask them what the fees are and whether or not any of them can be waived. They are used to this question and will have the information handy for you.

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