The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has brought together some 300 pilot and aviation organizations in a push to standardize airport diagram parking labels.
The groups are supporting defining FBO ramp as “an apron where itinerant general aviation [GA] operators can park their aircraft and expect to have access to traditional FBO services subject to terms and conditions;” a GA transient ramp as “an apron where itinerant general aviation operators can park their aircraft without FBO services and subject to terms and conditions;” and GA tenant ramp as “an area designated for parking of based general aviation aircraft, i.e. tiedown area.”
AOPA noted that in the absence of a standard set of diagrams, the references vary widely; the association found up to 30 different parking terms for the same type of ramp in Southern California alone.
While many airports have available transient GA parking areas, those ramps are either not labeled or not labeled clearly. AOPA said standardizing terms will eliminate confusion and enable pilots to better identify parking options.
Further, the association noted an effort to standardize terms will become even more important as the FAA is expected to expand the number of airports required to furnish an airport diagram from the current 700 to about 3,000.
“There is very strong support in the pilot community for transparency at our nation’s airports, whether it be FBO fees or airport ramps,” said AOPA president Mark Baker. “The use of these standard parking terms, if applicable to an airport, will be very helpful to pilots by indicating parking options to fit their particular needs.”
AOPA added that the new terminology could be put in place when airports submit changes and during the next FAA diagram publication cycle.