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Sun, Jul 17, 2005

NBAA Welcomes New Landing-Fee Structure For Santa Monica

Plan Replaces Former SMO Fees Ruled 'Unjustly Discriminatory' By FAA

The NBAA gave its thumbs up this week to FAA approval of a new landing-fee structure for Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO). The new landing-fee plan - approved by Santa Monica City officials on June 21 and scheduled to become effective August 1 - replaces a previous program that was rejected by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last January on the grounds that it unjustly discriminated against certain types of aircraft.

"We are pleased that Santa Monica City officials accepted the FAA's ruling and have produced a landing-fee policy that honors the law and serves in the best interests of the airport and community," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

Under the new SMO landing-fee program, "itinerant" aircraft (those based outside the airport) will be charged landing fees at a uniform rate of $2.07 per thousand pounds of maximum certified gross landing weight, regardless of size. The landing fees will not apply to aircraft based at SMO.

The new landing-fee structure for SMO was developed in response to a complaint about the former fee structure filed by NBAA and two of its Member Companies with the FAA in October 2003. That filing contented that SMO's previous landing-fee program was unjustly discriminatory and unlawful. In January of this year, the FAA concurred, stating that the fees violated federal law, and that Santa Monica Airport would be ineligible for federal airport improvement funds until the fees were repealed and replaced with a suitable landing-fee structure.

Last month, Santa Monica City officials submitted a new airport landing-fee plan to the FAA. The Agency conditionally accepted the city's proposal, and stated that if it were implemented, the city would once again be eligible for federal financial assistance. On June 21, the Santa Monica City Council implemented the new structure through the adoption of Resolution 10047 (CCS).



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