NATA challenges FBO unfair profit claims

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The National Air Transport Association (NATA) in the USA has responded to an accusation from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) that FBOs and airports are maximizing their revenue streams in a manner that is unfair to pilots.

AOPA has launched a campaign to regulate airports and on-field businesses, and recently announced plans to ask the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) to introduce new legislation, where FBOs and airports would have to provide access to their ramps and other facilities for free.

NATA’s response has been to provide the FAA with a report on the state of the aviation business sector, developed with the assistance of FBO and air charter members. The report details the costs of operating an airport business and the many variables that help to determine its pricing structure, from personnel expenses to fuel volume.

Martin Hiller, NATA president, said, “The AOPA effort is particularly disappointing as it continues a pattern of contradictory assertions designed to alleviate industry concerns while it pursues an economic regulatory agenda.

“While AOPA claims to support FBOs and the free market, there is no recognition of the fact that some locations require different pricing models. Incredibly, AOPA chose to attack the FAA for asking stakeholders to comment on its call for economic regulation of FBOs and even criticized NATA for bringing their covert, 11-month campaign to others’ attention.”

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