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Unfriendliest airport for GA in Australia?

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Unfriendliest airport for GA in Australia?

Old 1st May 2022, 02:23
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Council run = short on commercial smarts.
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Old 1st May 2022, 03:13
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Hmmm, I don’t think it’s really about “commercial” smarts but rather “strategic” smarts in relation to aerodromes and GA.

No council I know runs the public toilets in the town park as a “commercial” venture or “business unit”. Those toilets will cost more to establish and maintain than they will ‘generate in fees’. The toilets are nonetheless established and maintained as a public facility which makes the town a ‘nicer’ place to be and, therefore, visit.

For some reason, many councils can’t see an aerodrome as being just another public facility which is of substantial intrinsic value without ‘generating fees’ or ‘breaking even’ as a ‘business unit’. Aerial fire fighting base. Aeromedical evacuation facility. Supplies can be flown in and out when the town is cut off by floods or fires. Courier and mail service hub. And another means to attract visitors with $$ to the local area.

The Temora Council had the strategic foresight to and is now reaping the benefits of actively encouraging the use and expansion of the Temora aerodrome. The Aviation Museum chose to set up there, for a reason. Does the Temora Council charge landing fees for itinerant general aviation? No. Do aerodrome usage fees for Temora aerodrome ‘cover the costs’ of maintaining the aerodrome? No. But is the aerodrome a strategic asset that generates millions in revenue for the Temora township each year? You betcha!

(And the insurance requirements imposed on itinerant GA aircraft using the Temora aerodrome? Nil.)
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Old 1st May 2022, 07:51
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Airport Fees

So I see high airport landing and usage fees.

The question I have to ask what do those same councils charge the limes of the Grey Nomad with caravan in tow, or the double B semi truck going through town. Do they have to pay a traversing fee or is there blatant discrimination going on here?
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Old 1st May 2022, 13:55
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And another means to attract visitors with $$ to the local area.
You mean the same visitors who whinge about spending $$ on a landing or usage fee?

No council I know runs the public toilets in the town park as a “commercial” venture or “business unit”.
And yet Temora charge a family $13 a time (or $605-$726 a year) to use the town swimming pool.

For some reason, many councils can’t see an aerodrome as being just another public facility which is of substantial intrinsic value without ‘generating fees’ or ‘breaking even’ as a ‘business unit’. Aerial fire fighting base. Aeromedical evacuation facility. Supplies can be flown in and out when the town is cut off by floods or fires. Courier and mail service hub. And another means to attract visitors with $$ to the local area.
Because for many councils they are none of those things. They are just high cost assets (liabilities) used directly or indirectly by very few of the ratepayers. Of any of those points, they may maintain the aerodrome for the aeromedical potential, but that is going to be a very infrequent use, and not something that they aren't going to try and offset some of the costs of 365 days a year maintenance to provide.
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Old 1st May 2022, 21:47
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Originally Posted by Traffic_Is_Er_Was View Post
You mean the same visitors who whinge about spending $$ on a landing or usage fee?
We don't whinge about it. We just don't visit. That's the point.

If a council wants to charge my friends and I $10 to land/park when what we intended to do was spend around $2,000 in the local area over a weekend, the local businesses miss out. We go elsewhere.
Originally Posted by Traffic_Is_Er_Was View Post
And yet Temora charge a family $13 a time (or $605-$726 a year) to use the town swimming pool.
And if you check the council website for Temora (and e.g. Cowra), they specify a landing/usage fee for their respective aerodromes. Both councils came to understand that charging the fee was 'silly' (see reason above).

Originally Posted by Traffic_Is_Er_Was View Post
Because for many councils they are none of those things. They are just high cost assets (liabilities) used directly or indirectly by very few of the ratepayers. Of any of those points, they may maintain the aerodrome for the aeromedical potential, but that is going to be a very infrequent use, and not something that they aren't going to try and offset some of the costs of 365 days a year maintenance to provide.
Then "many councils" aren't very strategic thinkers are they? That's a problem. That "very infrequent use" could be the difference between life and death for someone, or a town being immolated or not. The local pool's not much help when someone needs to be medivac'd to a city hospital. I suppose it's a good source of water to fight bushfires, but the most effective aerial fire fighting aircraft need fuel and a good runway when they're chockas. I'm always happy when they're sitting on standby, less than a 100 metres from my property, on 'catastrophic fire danger' day.

One way in which we 'encourage' our local council to be a little more 'strategic' is to provide data, based on aviation visitor spend in the local area, as to what would be lost if the Avdata snakeoil were to be purchased by council. The twice a work-day courier service company told council they would simply stop coming if fees were introduced. And we also inform the local businesses what would happen. Effective so far.
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Old 1st May 2022, 22:24
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That's the problem, LB.

Many naysayers will poo-poo the idea of "saving" a $20 landing fee and $10/night parking charge, but it's not about the $$ - if it was, we wouldn't fly a light plane. Pilots tend to be (mostly) level headed, able to see through a ruse and don't like being taken for a ride. That $20 landing fee is maybe 2% of what we'd spend for a weekend away when you factor in accommodation, tucker & drinks, But it's also 20 minutes, or 50NM of fuel in the RV. It's the difference between going to Tamworth or Armidale, visiting Narrabri or Moree, or Gunnedah, or even Maroochydore vs Caboolture, Redcliffe or Caloundra if we wanted to go up to Queen-P's-Land.

$20 is stuff all in aviation-speak, but that's not the point. I don't like being taken for cash cow, or treated differently from Ma & Pa Kettle in their 4-tonne Landcruiser and 3.5-tonne caravan just because I want to arrive in my 750kg RV. Yes I have a plane. No, I'm not "rich". Ma & Pa Kettle probably have more disposable income than I do, yet they get a free pass (and often, free camping for their van with Council's allowing free-camping in their showgrounds and the like!) for their vehicle that weighs 10x mine...

And I don't believe in supporting Council's that feel that way.
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Old 1st May 2022, 22:31
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Does anyone have a photo of the last page of Avdata invoice ? The page with all prices squeezed onto the a4 page. That was the most ugliest invoice I've ever seen in my life.
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Old 1st May 2022, 23:05
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KRviator View Post
That's the problem, LB.

Many naysayers will poo-poo the idea of "saving" a $20 landing fee and $10/night parking charge, but it's not about the $$ - if it was, we wouldn't fly a light plane. Pilots tend to be (mostly) level headed, able to see through a ruse and don't like being taken for a ride. That $20 landing fee is maybe 2% of what we'd spend for a weekend away when you factor in accommodation, tucker & drinks, But it's also 20 minutes, or 50NM of fuel in the RV. It's the difference between going to Tamworth or Armidale, visiting Narrabri or Moree, or Gunnedah, or even Maroochydore vs Caboolture, Redcliffe or Caloundra if we wanted to go up to Queen-P's-Land.

$20 is stuff all in aviation-speak, but that's not the point. I don't like being taken for cash cow, or treated differently from Ma & Pa Kettle in their 4-tonne Landcruiser and 3.5-tonne caravan just because I want to arrive in my 750kg RV. Yes I have a plane. No, I'm not "rich". Ma & Pa Kettle probably have more disposable income than I do, yet they get a free pass (and often, free camping for their van with Council's allowing free-camping in their showgrounds and the like!) for their vehicle that weighs 10x mine...

And I don't believe in supporting Council's that feel that way.
Exactly. Hear! Hear!
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Old 1st May 2022, 23:24
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The beginning of the end was when the Commonwealth gave away airports. Bit by bit it all just got too hard, lovely little puddle jumper sold because I couldn't afford it. Put the CASA factor in and it became frustrating as well as expensive. Throw in extortionate councils and petty officials at regional airports the whole experience became not worth the effort.
Private GA is for the well off and people after a tax break, no longer for people on an average wage. The good times will never come back.
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Old 1st May 2022, 23:37
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Originally Posted by Bosi72 View Post
Does anyone have a photo of the last page of Avdata invoice ? The page with all prices squeezed onto the a4 page. That was the most ugliest invoice I've ever seen in my life.
https://avdata.com.au/airport-charge-rates
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Old 2nd May 2022, 01:15
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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I don't like being ......... treated differently from Ma & Pa Kettle
But you are different. They don't have to provide a dedicated facility that no-one else can use to enable Ma & Pa Kettle to visit
Ma & Pa Kettle probably have more disposable income than I do, yet they get a free pass (and often, free camping for their van with Council's allowing free-camping in their showgrounds and the like!) for their vehicle that weighs 10x mine...
You know why? Because there's many more of them. Who do you think makes up the vast majority of visitors to these small regional centers? I'll give you a hint. It's not 1 or 2 GA flights a month (if that). Even Temora, with their generous "no landing fees for itinerant aircraft" , only average around 20 non-local landings a month. They can afford this because they have the commercial agreements with their training organisations, ag operators, and the museum. The vast majority of the visitors to Temora drive there. If Temora introduced landing fees and say, half GA said *F*ck that!", and don't go, it really makes no difference to them. Conversely, if Upper Cumbaktawest says "Hey, we've abolished fees" and movements double, from hardly anything to twice hardly anything, it doesn't make any difference because no one wants to go there anyway.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 03:00
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Regarding local councils, guess how many grey nomads would turn up in their country towns if the main streets are wall to wall parking meters and the rest of the streets are signposted “permit only”? That’s right, not many would visit after the word got around. Why? Because parking fees are “grudge purchases” like insurance and fuel. You never get a good feeling from a grudge purchase, unlike buying chocolate. A lot of people bitterly resented grudge purchases and will go far out of their way to avoid them.


Given that parking fees are grudge purchases, you have to factor in the opportunity costs to arrive at the full cost of a decision.

[QUOTE]Opportunity costs represent the potential benefits that an individual, investor, or business misses out on when choosing one alternative over another. Because opportunity costs are unseen by definition, they can be easily overlooked.[/QUOTE]

‘In airport terms, these are the aviation visits you don’t get, the aircraft related businesses that go elsewhere and the people who don’t migrate to your town because they have an aircraft and your Council decided to levy fees.

‘’When you total up these potential costs, it is no surprise how financially short sighted money grubbing through landing fees can be. aFor example an over night stop for me generally involves dropping approximately $400 into the local economy (accomodation $150. Car hire $90, Dinner and refreshments $50, refuelling $100 - $300). Mildura will never see that money, Wentworth (perhaps - they have landing fees), Kerang or Swan Hill will.

Last edited by Sunfish; 2nd May 2022 at 03:37.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 05:35
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It's still a numbers game though. You over estimate GA's importance to the local economy in sufficient numbers that would make any difference vs visitors arriving by other means. I would hazard a guess that most small aerodromes are mainly just a fuel stop on the way to somewhere more interesting.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 23:38
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Originally Posted by Traffic_Is_Er_Was View Post
It's still a numbers game though. You over estimate GA's importance to the local economy in sufficient numbers that would make any difference vs visitors arriving by other means. I would hazard a guess that most small aerodromes are mainly just a fuel stop on the way to somewhere more interesting.
Like Dubbo for example. I've been through there so many times and only usually ever purchased fuel and kept moving. Due to the landing fees many now fill up at Narromine and keep going. Of about a dozen stops at Dubbo I'd say I've only ever been into down once due to weather or daylight.

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Old 3rd May 2022, 00:05
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Geesus, is it that hard to see the benefit to the whole community of an aerodrome asset? Only one or two GA movements per month, so stuff them, we'll charge them a fee that is ridiculous and doesn't have a hope of doing anything for the good of the aerodrome. The whinge comes from idiots brainwashed by 'user pays' when that same idiot is paying some of the highest taxes in the world. Those rich pilots should pay their fair share! Interesting, I don't know too many rich pilots.

But when it's a one off visit from an RFDS or air ambulance to pick up a loved one involved in an accident and get them to city medical care they'd be the first to whinge if their loved one couldn't be picked up because the aerodrome is ******.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 02:13
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A few years ago I flew into Dubbo in a 172.

Wanting a coffee and to use the bathroom, I had to walk outside the AD via a security gate, and then in the front terminal entrance. Upon getting to security, the conveyer belt was switched off, and four - yes, four - security pelicans were sat down on their phones. They had to switch the belt on to 'screen' me even though I had flown in and was wearing an ASIC. The next RPT flight was at nearly four hours away!

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Old 3rd May 2022, 05:50
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I strongly suggest that you all read these reports. The value of a small local aerodrome is overstated by many in GA and the costs of maintaining are not understood.
https://airports.asn.au/wp-content/u...ember-2016.pdf
https://airports.asn.au/wp-content/u...n-airports.pdf
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Old 3rd May 2022, 07:03
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Vag…..quite right, and CASA micromanagement and over regulation precludes local GA businesses from starting and growing, thus exacerbating the revenue shortfall. AAA are victims of CASA too.

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Old 3rd May 2022, 07:56
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Originally Posted by Vag277 View Post
I strongly suggest that you all read these reports. The value of a small local aerodrome is overstated by many in GA and the costs of maintaining are not understood.
https://airports.asn.au/wp-content/u...ember-2016.pdf
https://airports.asn.au/wp-content/u...n-airports.pdf
Are you able to summarise the methodology used in these reports to calculate the "value of a small local aerodrome"?
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Old 4th May 2022, 02:41
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I think what Vag277 is trying to say is that the economic value to the local community of sporadic visitors using small local aerodromes is of much less importance than the ability to provide critical services to their community such as aeromed, emergency response etc. As can be seen from the report. small local airports almost always operate at a considerable loss, but this loss is borne by the community as the cost of having such a facility available for those needed operations, even though it means other services required by the community suffer. Thus, I have absolutely no problem with a council wanting to charge itinerants landing and parking fees, because they aren't really providing it for them. The ability for Capt Joe Bloggs to drop in for fuel (far more likely than staying the night) is just a by-product of the airport being available to service the community . Any extra that they can garner to offset and assist in providing an essential service to their community is justified imo, and ultimately allows them to spend the equivalent dollar elsewhere on necessary community services.
Rather than begrudging landing fees, GA should be thinking of it as their contribution to helping the local community. By staying away for the sake of $20 you are guaranteeing that that apron won't be extended, or that that pothole will not get filled in.
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