Owners of aircraft that fly into airports run by the city of San Diego could soon face higher fees, which were tentatively approved Wednesday by the City Council’s Budget Committee.
The fees are for pumping fuel and overnight airplane parking at Brown Field and Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport, and the increases are designed to bring them in line with similar facilities in California, Arizona and Nevada, according to city Airports Division staff.
Owners of private aircraft are charged a fuel flowage fee at San Diego’s airfields instead of landing fees.
The cost is currently 7 cents a gallon for aviation gasoline and jet fuel, and 9 cents a gallon for oil. If the hikes are approved by the full City Council, the prices would increase over the next two fiscal years to the industry average of 10 cents a gallon for jet fuel and oil, and 9 cents a gallon for “AvGas.”
Staff estimates that city revenue would increase around $58,000 the first year and $57,000 the second year, to a total annual haul of about $438,000.
Transient parking fees would climb over two years from $5 per night to $7 a night for single-engine aircraft, and $5 to $9 nightly for multi-engine planes.
A formula for large aircraft weighing over 10,000 pounds would remain unchanged.
The city collected more than $28,000 for overnight parking in Fiscal Year 2015. According to a staff report, that would increase to over $42,000 under the new fee schedule.
“Those airports have been neglected and under-utilized assets for a while here, and I think we’re making steps in the right direction,” Councilman Scott Sherman said. “Hopefully, this equivalent of — I don’t know — a Starbucks coffee or so per plane will help out a little bit.”
A performance audit of the Airports Division last year found that required annual reviews of fees hadn’t been performed since 2003. That was the last time the fuel flowage price was increased. The cost of overnight parking has been the same since 1991, according to staff.
In the future, the Airports Division plans to address monthly fees for owners who base their planes at the two airports.
—City News Service