SELLERSBURG — An ordinance standardizing fees for services at the Clark Regional Airport that was set forth in February took effect at the beginning of this month.
The ordinance, adopted by the South Central Regional Airport Authority at its Feb. 17 regular meeting was designed to codify expectations on fuel flow fees for the airport's two fixed-base operators, Honaker Aviation and Aircraft Specialists, Inc. It also updates landing and parking fees for aircraft not based at the airport and sets the license fees for commercial aircraft operators the same across the board.
Airport manager John Secor said the ordinance is to standardize things, and won't necessarily bring in more airport revenue. Although the fees were covered in resolutions before, an ordinance will hold more water.
“There is no immediate increase economically to charge user fees,” he said. “It's more of a leveling the playing field and setting the precedent for the future.”
The fuel flow fee for fixed-base operators stands at 10 cents per gallon of fuel purchased from the airport. Prior to the ordinance, the fee was 10 cents per gallon no matter how many were sold, and is now amended to charge 10 cents per gallon up to 500,000 in a year, then 5 cents per gallon per fixed-base operators after that.
Secor said he also wanted to clean up the language of the requirements on the landing and parking fees for non-based aircraft. The previous resolution was several years old and outdated in parts.
“Some of the aircraft category types don't even exist anymore, that's how old this thing is,” he said. “So I just cleaned that up and brought it in line with what I saw.”
The new fees are based on the certified maximum takeoff weight of the aircraft and are as follows: twin engine piston aircraft more than 6,000 pounds, $25; single or multi-engine turbo prop aircraft less than 12,500 pounds, $25; single or multi-engine turbo prop aircraft 12,500 pounds and above, $35; turbo jet/fan aircraft under 12,500 pounds, $35; turbo jet/fan aircraft under 12,501 to 30,000 pounds, $65; turbo jet/fan aircraft 30,001 pounds and above, $95; and helicopters, $25.
License fees for commercial aircraft operators is $500 per month for up to five airport-based aircraft and $100 per month for each additional aircraft. This applies to three commercial operators at the airport — Air Methods, JR Aviation and ATP Flight School.
If all three comply, the income from these fees will still be approximately $18,000 per year, Secor said. Prior to the ordinance, JR Aviation paid approximately $1,000 per month or $12,000 per year, ATP Flight School paid approximately $500 per month or $6,000 per year and Air Methods did not pay a license fee to the airport.
At the February meeting, Air Methods regional logistics manager Byant Schumate voiced his opposition to the new fees.
“Our primary opposition is not to the fee — we understand what it's for,” Schumate said. “The problem is we did not know about the fee when we moved into the location. We just actually within the last six months found out about the fee. So we kind of feel like this is more a dispute between our landlord, Honaker Aviation, and the airport authority versus us.” He said Air Methods has been at the airport about three-and-a-half years.
Secor previously stated that Honaker stopped paying its fuel flow fees to the airport in fall and the authority is working to collect those fees. He said the ordinance is not any kind of retaliation to that, and that talks of regulating the license fees started more than a year ago.
Jim Robinson, president of JR Aviation, has been a sub-tenant of the airport since 2000, also leasing from Honaker, which was Hap's when JR Aviation came to the airport. Robinson said he didn't know about the fees when his company got to the airport, but began paying them as soon as they did. He said he just wants Air Methods to pay their fair share going forward.
Secor said the first bills with the new fees will be sent out soon.
Original article can be found here: http://www.newsandtribune.com