Airports' landing fees policy changes

January 14, 2008 12:38:59 PM PST
Congested airports nationwide can charge landing fees based on the time flights land and the volume of traffic instead of on the plane's weight, according to a new federal policy introduced Monday. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters said the policy will make it easier for airports to reduce delays by encouraging airlines to spread their flights more evenly throughout the day. Delays in 2007 were the second worst since comparable data began being collected in 1995.

The new policy will encourage congested airports in New York and elsewhere to include the cost of projects designed to expand capacity in the new landing fees now instead of after construction has been completed, Peters said.

The policy also will allow operators, such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to distribute landing fee revenue among the different facilities, she said.

A spokesman from the Air Transport Association of America was not immediately available to comment Monday afternoon. The proposed policy change will be open to public comment for 45 days before it is finalized.