GAO Investigates FBO Pricing

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The Government Accountability Office has bitten on AOPA’s two-year-long campaign to end what it says is gouging by FBOs at some airports. At the request of House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster and aviation subcommittee chairman Frank LoBiondo the GAO is specifically looking at whether the FAA is doing its job ensuring airports that receive federal funding ensure businesses charge “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory fees and prices” for services and products. AOPA alleges that some FBOs, particularly large chains that enjoy monopolies at some airports, are charging exorbitant rates for some services and also charging for services that aren’t requested.

AOPA says it’s making progress in its campaign in that FBO chain Signature now publishes some of the fees it charges online, although not all of them. AOPA is also among five aviation groups that have called on FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell to make the FAA require airports to map all available transient ramp space. “As we’ve said since the beginning, most FBOs do a great job of providing service to pilots at reasonable costs. Our attention is focused on the small minority—often large chain FBOs with a monopoly position at an airport—who choose to abuse their positions to the detriment of pilots who funded these airports,” reminded AOPA President Mark Baker.

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