AOPA Convenes Airport Access Advisory Panel

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After complaints from members about discriminatory fuel pricing and high ramp fees at airports with only one FBO, AOPA is putting some muscle into finding ways to force FBOs to lower their fees. Earlier this week, AOPA convened a panel of FBO owners, airport managers and GA pilots to discuss ways to fight the fees. “This is really only about a number of places, mostly large FBOs with a monopoly position, where a particular set of circumstances have come together and resulted in egregious fees and pricing practices," says Ken Mead, AOPA’s general counsel. Mead continued, “That, combined with consolidation in the FBO industry, has pilots concerned about what the future might bring. We welcome this diverse and experienced group to advise AOPA on how we can work to empower airport boards, pilots and elected officials to find the right balance between reasonable pricing for pilots and profitability for FBOs.”

In late August, AOPA assisted seven pilots with filing FAA Part 13 complaints for airports with pricing identified as particularly egregious in member surveys. Airports that accept FAA funds for airport improvements are required to meet certain standards regarding reasonable public access to airport facilities. 14 CFR Part 13 provides an informal complaint mechanism for people who believe these standards are not being met. Number one on AOPA’s list was OK3 Air at Heber City Municipal Airport in Utah. Heber City (36U) is the closest airport to the ski resorts in Park City, Utah. OK3 is reported to be charging $6.36 per gallon for 100LL, according to AirNav.com.

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