The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia has received calls for assistance from local aircraft owners and pilots based at and using Moorabbin Airport (YMMB), following a dramatic 42% increase in landing charges at the airport. Landing fees have increased from $19 to $28 per tonne, representing a hike of $9. This latest increase comes approximately 12 months after the last round of price increases.
“The landing fee increase is sending a clear unambiguous message that Moorabbin Airport Corporation wants general aviation gone at the airport, this is alarming and the federal government should be looking to directly intervene before its too late.”, AOPA Australia Executive Director Benjamin Morgan.
“If you’re operating a Beechcraft Baron into Moorabbin with a weight of 2,313kgs you will now be paying $69.39c to land at the airport, this is an outrageous rip-off and an insult. Add your Airservices charge and you’re paying near $100 to land at Moorabbin, with the prospect of a further $30 if you stay overnight,”
“In what world is paying $130 to land and park overnight a reasonable charge? It’s cheaper to park a damn yacht at an exclusive Marina on Sydney Harbour than it is to land and stay overnight at Moorabbin! At least with the marina you’re provided power, water and a courtesy car.”
“It’s fee gouging at it’s worst and a total abuse of our industry along with being an absolute disgrace when you consider that the Australian public are who own the airport asset,”
“The federal government sold the concept of privatising Australia’s airports on the argument that private owners would be better placed to manage and develop our aviation infrastructure, yet two decades later our aviation industry is being gouged and taken advantage of by property developers who masquerade as airport managers.”
“Take a good look around Moorabbin and you can see where Moorabbin Airport Corporation’s focus is…it’s hard to argue it’s aviation. Yet despite carving off some 50% of the airport land to build their multi-million dollar commercial/industrial warehouses, they now feel the need to further gouge our struggling aviation community – it’s madness!”
“Maybe AOPA Australia should park our bus square across the road-entrance to the airport and erect our own toll-gates, charging $100 each time the Moorabbin Airport Corporation requires access to the airport site. I’m fairly certain that they too would agree that such a fee is a clear rip-off and unsustainable,” he said.
AOPA Australia contacted Moorabbin Airport Corporation’s Marc Grant and Ed Phelps for comment, however, no response was received.
The association has today written to the Minister and all members of parliament calling for the government to intervene.