April 13, 2018
Dear Fellow NATA Members:
I want to update you on the debate concerning access and fees at publicly-funded airports. A recent Flying Magazine article raised the question of whether a $29 dollar "facility fee” and a $5 dollar “infrastructure fee” are truly excessive for an FBO to handle a small single engine airplane, especially in light of a minimum purchase of seven gallons to waive these fees.
Please take a look at last week’s Flying Magazine piece, In FBO Pricing Dispute, Critics Say AOPA’s Numbers Don’t Add Up, which provides an excellent fact check on the ongoing campaign against FBOs. One particularly egregious example includes a roughly $500 discrepancy between what AOPA posted on its website and the actual price provided by the FBO. The piece quotes a point I emphasized that while AOPA has done excellent advocacy work in the past, this latest move “feels more like a marketing campaign.”
In light of that development, we are surprised to see that ten airports were added to what AOPA is calling an “Airport Access Watch List.” We maintain that all ten of our member FBOs at the named airports are compliant with FAA grant assurances. Each participated in a competitive RFP process and engage in market-driven pricing practices. AOPA notes that it will begin a dialogue with each airport sponsor. We are confident that this will soon clear any misconceptions and lead to the termination of the list.
Be assured, we will meet the rhetoric of AOPA with facts in support of free enterprise, and you can continue to support our efforts through two NATA initiatives - FBOs: Above and Beyond and Real FBO Facts. Please visit those links to find out how you can help provide a well-rounded perspective on the FBO industry.
NATA is – and will remain – the leading voice of aviation business.
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The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for 80 years. Representing nearly 2,300 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.