AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES
Daria Knupp
59 Posts
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With the filing of official complaints to the FAA, AOPA rolled out the next phase of its ongoing effort to tackle egregious fees charged by certain fixed-base operations around the country. The move comes after months of effort identifying the worst offenders and attempting to work with local airport sponsors receptive to ensuring their communities offer pilots reasonable access to their airfields, often described as the local on and off ramps to the National Airspace System. Read more here.

Have you experienced any egregious FBO pricing practices? 
84 Replies
Hi Daria. I recently landed at KBDL Bradley Windsor Locks. I refueled at TAC Air. They were very nice and the service was grea but the fuel cost was $7.40 /gallon. Was really egregiously high. Their competitor on the field was just as high. 
     Great service but fuel gouging. 

Regard

Rich Abramowitz. N58488
Daria Knupp
59 Posts
Hi Rich, I am glad the service was very nice but sad to hear about the fuel cost. I appreciate you being transparent in regards to the pricing. When we hear these type of experiences, it just reiterates to us the importance of fighting the egregious pricing. Thank you again Rich.


 
I'd like to see a followup article on exactly where public spending and private spending are done on public airports.    In otherwords.  what are tax dollars paying for and what is the responsibility of the private sector?   Seem that the system is a bit flawed where if you want or need to land, you are forced to pay at any airport.  If there is a FBO it's up to them to decide what the fee is whether services are used.   I would liken this to there is a free highway across the country, you just have to pay to enter and exit.   
Charging a reasonable price to make a reasonable profit is the key to good business. Charging "what the market will bear" is a form of usury and is just plan price gouging. Witness the increase in fuel prices with hurricane Harvey. Try explaining that to the public.  Just wrong!!!!
KOPF - highest fuel prices I have seen in the Southeast. Fontainebleau even charges for a ramp fee on top of the 2X gouge. 
Since we are a group...how about instead of complaints...we propose a solution.  The FAA's side job is to allow citizens access to their airplanes and the airspace system.  Why can't we petition for a "walk around" of any FBO?  Most ramps are not owned by the FBO, they are owned by the airport.  Let's use BWI Signature (the old Butler Aviation for old folks) as an example.  Before 911, there was a pass code gate to get to the ramp.  Didn't have to go through Signature, didn't have to pay $365.  Just walk through gate with pass code, invariably a BWI security cop was by in minutes to check you were wearing your SIDA badge and you preflighted and left.  Tower noted your departure.  If you landed, the owner of the plane got a $5.00 invoice from MAA - Maryland Aviation Admin.  After 911, the pass gate was gone and the arguments ensued.  Signature insisted that since you "walked through their lobby", you were using their facility and you needed to pay for such nice digs because obviously the G-V aircraft weren't paying enough to support Signature (joke).  I mourned the loss of the "pass" gate.  So, the FAA can make this very simple at the majority of airports, if you want FAA funds, you must create a non-FBO method of entering and leaving the airport open to pilots.  Allow cities to charge something for setup, but not outrageous....go back to BWI....have a gate or office that is run by the MAA or the Airport police.  I go to that office, show my credentials, tell them my N-number and get escorted to the plane....no FBO involved.  I pay a $5, $10, maybe $20 security fee for entrance since it does cost money and effort to have someone escort me to the ramp.  I guarantee OVERNIGHT, Signature would drop their handling fee to $20 because far better for me to possibly buy fuel and drinks from them than bypass them!  It is simply the need for competition that could be spurred by the FAA.