The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is calling on its members to oppose legislation submitted last week by South Carolina state Sen. Phil Leventis (D) that would block the imposition of FBO ramp fees on pilots who use a facility but do not purchase any services.
According to the wording of the bill, FBO operators “at an airport located in South Carolina may not charge a fee, including a ramp fee, to aircraft that do not use their services and are parked at the airport less than a full day if any local, state or federal funds have been used to fund or improve the airport.”
Michael France, NATA’s director of regulatory affairs, described the motion as “nonsense” and countered that Leventis–whose extensive aviation background includes part ownership in a GA repair station and a stint as a county airport commissioner–is attempting to equate FBOs with public accommodations. “What he has forgotten is that most FBOs are private businesses, built with an investment of private capital,” France noted. FBOs are charged rent by the airports while providing services beyond fuel sales, such as aircraft parking, restrooms and passenger and crew lounges, he said.