Why are landing fees at large airports based on weight?

  • Why are landing fees at large airports based on weight? KORD4me

    KORD airport for instance charges domestic vs international arrivals differently.

    I could see that this may have something to do with imports/taxes/tariffs etc, but why are the landing fees measured in \$ per 1,000lbs?

  • From Anne Graham's book, Managing Airports:

    This charging mechanism uses the ‘ability to pay’ principles, since airlines using larger aircraft are in a better position to pay higher charges. Some costs such as runway wear and tear do increase with weight and also larger aircraft require vortex separations, which can reduce the number of aircraft movements during a certain period. Overall, however, there is not a strong relationship between aircraft weight and airfield cost. A flat rate landing charge for all aircraft types may be more appropriate, particularly at congested airports. This is because the cost of occupying the congested runway is movement related and independent of aircraft size. Each aircraft movement will consume the same resource.

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