McKinney Municipal Airport in Dallas has been added to the list of the U.S. Customs Service’s designated user-fee airports. Operators must obtain advance permission to clear customs at user-fee facilities, which unlike international or landing rights airports are not staffed with full-time, government-paid customs agents.
Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) increased the fees it charges for various services on July 1, but it also lowered some fees. According to a CASA statement, “CASA is obliged to recover costs for regulatory services in line with the Australian Government’s cost-recovery policy.” Fees for issuing private, commercial and air transport licenses are lower, and the agency reduced a total of 22 fixed fees.
Van Isle Avionics is now accepting the Multi Service Card for payment. According to the Abbotsford, B.C. company, it is the first service-support provider in Canada–and one of the initial few around the world–to agree to accept the credit card for maintenance work. The card has traditionally been used for FBO services and products such as fuel, ramp charges, air navigation and airport fees and catering.
Despite heavy lobbying by general aviation groups, a promising effort to have the concept of user fees for ATC services stricken from the Senate’s version of an FAA reauthorization bill failed narrowly in mid-May by a 12-11 vote.
Massport, which operates Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Hanscom Field (BED) in Bedford, Mass., has instituted a new aircraft operating fee schedule at BED that includes a night landing surcharge of $329 for any aircraft landing between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Other new fees include a landing fee of $1.50 per 1,000 pounds and a customs fee of $150 to $310, depending on aircraft weight.
Customers of Jeppesen World Fuel Services can now go online to view fuel prices and place orders at more than 1,500 locations worldwide. A new Web site provides price quotes, including taxes and fees, as well as pricing based on different uplift volumes. Users can store frequented destinations, search past fuel quotes and obtain the name of the into-plane provider.
Airservices Australia wants to impose licensing fees to provide data for aeronautical information publications, including Jeppesen charts. If levied, the Englewood, Colo.-based company said the additional charges would be passed along to customers. Jeppesen opposes the fees, viewing them as “multiple taxation” because they would be in addition to Australia’s existing ATC and navigation user fees.
Effective March 15, Signature Flight Support increased handling fees at its chain of more than 40 U.S. FBO locations. Signature said, “Customers who purchase two or more times the specified minimum fuel volume for their aircraft type at any U.S. Signature location will receive a 100-percent waiver of handling fees at all other U.S. Signature FBOs visited on the same day of their fuel purchase.”
At the AOPA Convention in Palm Springs, Calif., last month, the specter of user fees cast its long shadow over operators and potential operators of the new small jets. At the opening general session a lineup of aviation heavyweights voiced their views on user fees. Tom Poberezny, president of EAA, summed it up best when he said, “They [the airlines] want to control more and pay less.”
After promising that a new system for funding the FAA would be announced by late last spring, the White House admitted this summer that internal disagreements within the Bush Administration had pushed the project to a back burner.