Miami International Airport To Lower Landing Fees Starting Oct 1
Written by Risa Polansky on September 11, 2008
By Risa Polansky
With staggering fuel costs forcing fewer flights and unprecedented fees for customers, airlines could use a break, and Miami International Airport plans to give them one. For now.
Responding to a plea from the Miami Airport Affairs Committee, made up of carriers, Miami-Dade Aviation is to lower its landing fee for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.
Airlines are to pay $1.19 per 1,000 pounds of landed weight, down 38% from the $1.94 they pay now and down 52% from the $2.46 the airport forecasted charging in fiscal 2009, said Aviation Director José Abreu.
The fee reduction is to help lower the cost per enplaned passenger: $16.44, down 13% from the $18.87 the airport predicted charging, he said.
Airlines welcome the break.
"Any reduction in fees is good for airlines and passengers," said American Airlines spokesman Martha Pantín.
On behalf of the airport affairs committee, consultant Jim Burchett in an e-mail to Mr. Abreu lauded the aviation department for having "taken steps to materially reduce airline costs for FY09."
It was a "major victory" Mr. Abreu agreed, but he stressed it won’t last forever.
After the significant reductions this upcoming fiscal year, charges must rise again the next, he said. "I am concerned with the bounce-back of the landing fee."
The maximum "bounce-back" could be as high as $3.73, he said. "But we understand that the (fuel) problem is now."
The lower charges, though attractive to the industry, are unlikely to draw in new domestic airlines, Mr. Abreu said, simply because it’s still too tough an economic time.
"It’s very unlikely that domestic airlines are going to move in at this time."
But, he said, the lower charges could "absolutely" help retain airlines that otherwise might have included Miami in cutback plans.