Alpha Aviation, the operators of the Boundary Bay Airport in Delta, B.C., is at least temporarily suspending implementation of a controversial schedule of landing fees that were to have become effective Jan. 1. The schedule of fees was posted to Alpha Aviation’s website on Dec. 19th, 2017 but has since been taken down in the face of quick and vigourous opposition from the local flying community and consultation with COPA.

The Web posting announced a minimum fee of $25.00 for aircraft and helicopters under 6,600lbs or 3,000kg and $50.00 for aircraft and helicopters between 6,600lbs and 12,500lbs (5,669kgs) and said the fees “can be waived with a set amount of fuel purchase”.

COPA President Bernard Gervais spoke with Marcello Garofalo Friday about the fee proposal and was told the plans are under review until further notice. Gervais said he discussed, in particular, waiving the landing fees for transient recreational and private aircraft, citing the economic benefits of visiting aircraft to airports as detailed in COPA’s GA economic impact study released earlier this year.

Gervais said he’s hopeful any future discussions about landing fees at Boundary Bay will include an exemption for transient private and recreational aircraft. Aircraft based at Boundary Bay were already exempt under the fee schedule. Gervais said Garofalo pledged to keep COPA and other interested groups well informed about developments on implementation of the fees.

COPA has long-advocated airport operators seek out numerous, alternative avenues available to fund operations and improvements without imposing costly tariffs and charges on the general aviation community. Several airports in Canada have experimented with landing fees and in all cases have discovered it drives away business. The average revenue generated by one visiting aircraft in fuel, food, local transportation, lodging and tourism often eclipses the revenue forgone by charging pilots to land and this number multiplies as aircraft return to those airports known to be friendly to general aviation. Earlier this year, COPA released an economic study of the impact of General Aviation in Canada that showed GA operations in Canada contribute $9.3 billion in economic output nationally and account for almost 36,000 full-time jobs in communities across the country. The report also highlights the benefits that General Aviation operations bring to communities in terms of tax revenues, direct, and indirect employment.

COPA represents over 16,000 pilots and aircraft owners across the country and is the national voice for General Aviation in Canada. Through the mission of advancing, promoting, and preserving the Canadian Freedom to Fly, COPA is at the forefront on issues that affect pilots, aircraft and airports in communities across Canada and is an active partner with all levels of government in ensuring a bright future for General Aviation. For more information, visitcopanational.org.