Unexpected Ramp Fees

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by thito01, Dec 23, 2021.

  1. Archer Jack

    Archer Jack Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Judge, I beg you please do something about there and their as well as your and you're. And, while you're at it please restore the word gone as the past participle of go rather than went. Thank you, oh learned one. POA members can all sleep better tonight knowing their diction is in you capable hands. :cheerswine:
     
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  2. Z06_Mir

    Z06_Mir Pattern Altitude

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    I'll be honest I didn't read beyond page one of this thread. But to answer this question yes ForeFlight does have them listed but they get their data from the AOPA FBO listing. If it's incorrect on there it will be incorrect on ForeFlight. The FBO cannot submit fees to ForeFlight but they can submit them to AOPA. If AOPA collects the data on their own it probably won't be updated or accurate because it's based on someone calling and asking "what's your fee for a small airplane" to every FBO in the country.
     
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  3. Snowmass

    Snowmass Line Up and Wait

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    I started flying in 1952 and never payed a ramp fee until bizjets became common. I neither need nor want a fancy FBO. Really, I can carry my own bags and tie down my own airplane. Yes, as hard as may be to believe, I really can.

    Small GA is dying with and the last thing it needs is more expenses. Unless, of course, you welcome its death.
     
  4. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've never flown to an airport with any type of landing fees or ramp fees. I think there were maybe two airports that I could have chosen to fly to with a landing fee. The benefit of flying to small town airports in the middle of nowhere. :)
     
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  5. Joe_B1

    Joe_B1 Line Up and Wait

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    I tend to avoid airports that have landing fee's like the plague. I mostly stick to small non controlled fields unless I kknow they don't have fees. Purchasing fuel is all the money they are entitled to IMO unless I request a service like a tie-down or hangar. If they have a landing fee or a ramp fee, I won't use them.
     
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  6. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Here's a shout out to Million Air at Yuma AZ (NYL). We arrived yesterday in our PA-32 on a volunteer blood run, to find the ramp crammed with bizjets. The ramper parked us as close as he could. When the folks from the hospital arrived with the shipment, the ramper escorted their truck to our airplane for loading. We bought no fuel, but Million Air waived the ramp fee and gave us coupons to buy lunch at the adjoining cafe for $1.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have often had unexpectedly good service at Millionaire FBOs in both my past C-172 and my current Bonanza.
     
  8. Snowmass

    Snowmass Line Up and Wait

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    It does not matter to me if the fee is a surprise or not. It's being forced to pay for some thing I neither want nor need. Tucson international is an example which for many decades did not charge a ramp fee, just overnight tie down. Now you are forced to to use an FBO that wants $40 (maybe more now) to drop off/pickup a pax. Another nail in the small GA coffin.
     
  9. geezer

    geezer Line Up and Wait

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    The other side of the coin on why there are ramp fees, from the good old days.

    A small private airport, could be anywhere. We landed, purely to practice landings at various size runways. The owner came out and asked us how many gallons we were going to buy. None. She informed us the profit on the gas paid for the runway, and every plane that used the runway owed her money, donation, or gas purchase. Which did we prefer? We filled up, and her gas was about the same price as our home field.

    When the sale of avgas fell, and its price rose, people avoided buying it at airports with more amenities, so ramp fees became common at the large airports.

    As more airports became more sophisticated in their pavement, lighting, and pilot amenities, the costs rose.

    We all appreciate clean restrooms, comfortable chairs to take a break on, and a computer terminal with weather and capable of filing flight plans. In the good old days, the airport where I was training, there was exactly one bathroom, unisex, and used by the mechanics to scrub up after oil changes. The paper towel dispenser was empty more often than full, and there was no hot water. The good news? NO LANDING FEE and no required fuel purchase.

    Most of the airports that I have used for long cross country flights waived the fee if you filled the tanks, so I rarely paid a ramp fee. Another quirk in the system to raise an impropriate amount from transients, was the high tie down fees. If I was staying for more than 5 days, I paid the monthly fee, as it was typically equal to 4 or 5 days at the day rate.

    The reality is that few airports today make a profit, they are subsidized by some government entity, and that is why they can afford VASI's, ILS, long runways, and large paved parking areas for both planes and cars. 50 years ago, my home field did not plow snow, it simply issued a NOTAM and closed the field. Today, it starts plowing as soon as there is more than an inch, and continues until snow stops falling. Two always clean bathrooms, computer terminal with full range of weather and flight planning capability, pilots lounge with comfortable seating, and several pilot and plane owner related magazines provide a totally different facility from the "Good Old Days" that I remember. And a huge screen with all aircraft radar readouts, that you can zoom in or out to see what the traffic is in the immediate area, or out on the airways.

    The runways is 3 times as wide as back then, and has lights. The taxiways are wider than the rinway was, ang we have instrument approaches that work, and are legal.

    High ramp fee for a piston single are an abomination, but they are a product of the huge improvements in the airport facilities that are there for all planes that land.
     
  10. edo2000

    edo2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Unfortunately, I think it is more likely that the ramp/landing fees go to the local FBO and our tax dollars- federal, state, county, and city... still pay for things like runway repair, lighting, instrument approaches, etc. To be honest, I would prefer NOT to have a fancy airport lounge with "free" sparkling water if it costs $40-$50 every time I land there. Give me a bathroom and an avgas pump... but that's just me.
     
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  11. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Don't like it, and I rarely pay fees. But if the big airport is where I have to go, fees I pay. I see no point in bitching about it. Sorta like bitching about the weather. Isn't going to change anything.
     
  12. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If these fees are so outrageous and cause so much consternation, why are there so few mentions of them on FF or Airnav or other boards?

    I still say my method is best, assuming I have a few days to plan. I email the FBO and ask for all fees I might incur. That way I have a written record and no surprises.
    Sometimes I don't have time for that, so I might check rampfee.me or FF or Airnav. But if I just HAVE to go to that airport, I just go and accept whatever they feel they have to charge.
     
  13. geezer

    geezer Line Up and Wait

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    An interesting coincidence. Most of the nearby airports without landing or ramp fees have been sold to developers.
    The no landing fee or ramp fee airports may as a group may be going out of existence. Have any sold out in your region?

    The count from my log book is more than 7.
    There are at least 11 that are gone, including ones that I have been to, but not as pilot, not in log book.

    Two more are pending.

    Aqualand, partially developed
    Privately owned Culpepper, developed, there is a new government subsidized replacement across the highway
    Rehobeth Beach, developed
    Two grass strips south of KANP that I just landed and took off, did not bother to log
    Queenstown is a Metro station
    Calao, in Virginia
    Seven Corners, VA, developed.
    Another airport just west of Seven Corners, name forgottern, never landed there, developed.

    Suburban is closed, but waiting for zoning.
    Freeway is under contract, waiting zoning, but still operating.

    College Park, government owned and subsidized, seems safe.
    Gaithersburg, government owned, subsidized, safe.

    EDITED TO ADD:
    On the plus side, those of us who refuel at airports with out fees do increase the profitability of such, and help assure that they remain in business.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
  14. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Some of the best values are small uncontrolled airports with self serve, just be aware at many of these type airports you will get stuck for several days if you need a repair and ground transportation may be non existent.
     
  15. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    Right now I'm working on a lesson about the proper use of apostrophes, and the rules for singular possessive and plural possessive situations.

    A more important discussion will be about when not to use apostrophes (see post #85 above :D ). Obviously no one was paying attention when this was covered in middle school.
     
  16. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Its safest to never use apostrophe's for plural's. The exception's are few and far between. ;)
     
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