The City of Dallas will implement a general aviation landing fee of $5.15 per 1,000 pounds at Dallas Love Field (DAL) beginning January 1. Mark Duebner, director of the Dallas Airport System, notified the Love Field Pilots Association (LFPA) of the final fee determination in a recent letter, saying the city took into account operators' concerns and “though you may have not gotten everything you asked for, we were pleased to listen and evaluate your input.”
The fees are designed to cover 20 percent of DAL’s operational and maintenance costs for the airfield. Vector Airport Systems, which administers fee programs for airports, will assess and bill the fees.
The city defines a general aviation aircraft as any aircraft that is not a commercial aircraft, Duebner said, adding that transient and base tenants will be charged the same rate. However, no fuel flowage fees will be assessed for those paying the general aviation landing fee, he added. The fees would not apply to flights conducted for test, inspection, or ferry for maintenance purposes. In addition charitable and government flights would be exempt. Duebner added that the city would review the fees after the first year and adjust as necessary.
The $5.15 was revised downward slightly from the original proposal of $5.80 per 1,000 pounds, which would have been one of the highest rates in the country. The city in late April adopted an ordinance to implement the landing fees, citing a need to recover costs of upkeep of the field and for general aviation to pay its fair share.
Initially, the city had hoped to implement the charges in July, but LFPA urged the city to delay the charges so the city and pilots organization could review the costs and rates. LFPA had expressed concerns that the original proposal was “flawed and unfair.”
LFPA was assembling a formal response to the final determination but found the elimination of the fuel flowage fee for those paying the landing fee as a welcome move. “The bad news is that they will assess $5.15/1000 pounds of certified gross landing weight to base and transient part 91 flights alike,” said LFPA acting president Sean Lynch, who also is program director for Engine Assurance Program.
While the city does not provide a break for base tenants, the reduction of fuel flowage fees would likely be more favorable to base tenants, he said.
Lynch noted discussions of a rate of $3.20 per 1,000 pounds, but he said the discussions of that rate did not account for the elimination of the fuel flowage fees.
“We are still trying to get more data from other operators to find out what their true landing fee costs will be after the elimination of Fuel Flowage is calculated,” he added.
“In the end, we have made an excellent presence to the Dallas Airport Systems, they know in the future that we will unite and respond to any adverse changes to our operations, and the team to address any future issues is assembled and ready if need be,” he said.