Landing fee

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A landing fee is a charge paid by an aircraft to an airport company for landing at a particular airport. Landing fees can vary greatly between airports, with congested airports, ones where most of the landing slots are held by airlines being able to charge premium prices because of supply and demand, while less congested airports charge less because the demand is not as high. The money generated by landing fees is used to pay for the maintenance or expansion of the airport's buildings, runways, aprons and taxiways.

Landing fees can also be used to attract more flights by keeping the fees low. Some airports, especially general aviation airports do not charge landing fees.

There may be a correlation between the amount of traffic an airport can manage and its fees, based on the assumption that a larger airport can handle more traffic and thus spread the total airport maintenance and operating costs out over more carriers, as well as being able to generate more revenues from concessions, retail, parking and other services.

Landing fees may encompass additional airports provided services. Some airports will simply charge a single fee for landing and provide gates and check-in facilities as part of that fee. Other airports will charge a lower fee for landing but will charge airlines for the use of gates and check-in facilities.

Landing fees cannot be compared since a number of factors affect the amount of landing fees. For example, many airports in the United States receive subsidies from the FAA while airports in Canada do not. Canadian airports are actually "taxed" in the form of ground rent.

Fees can be based on any number of factors including:

  • Weight;
  • Number of seats;
  • Time of day;
  • Aircraft home airport (some airports do not charge fees for aircraft based at that airport or offer a lower fee for them);
  • Operator class (some airports may charge a fee for specific types of operators, like part 135 or 121, and not other aircraft operators).