Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Airport budget set at $8.8 million

Some fees for tenants, parking hiked

Express Staff Writer

An operating budget of just over $8,825,000 has been adopted by the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority for 2005-2006 with minor changes in some fees charged for tenants, transient aircraft and visitors.

Hailey Mayor Susan McBryant, who also is an Airport Authority member, said that "it's important to note that this airport operates without any dollars (taxes) from the public at large."

Among changes in rates and charges:

· The auto parking fee for 3 hours to 24 hours was increased from $6 to $7.

· The monthly parking in the main airport lot was increased from $100 to $125. Parking in the lower economy lot has been raised from $75 to $100, with six months paid in advance.

· Landing fees for locally based aircraft over 6,000 pounds have been raised from 80 cents to 90 cents per 1,000 pounds. Transient aircraft fees have been boosted $1.20 per 1,000 pounds over 6,000 pounds, to $1.32 per 1,000 pounds.

· Tie-down fees for single-engine aircraft have been raised from $420 per year to $460, and for twin-engine aircraft, from $600 per year to $660.

· Transient tie-down fees also have been raised—from $10 per night to $11 for single-engine propeller aircraft; from $20 per night to $25 for twin engine prop aircraft; from $45 per night to $50 for large jets, large twin-engine prop aircraft and helicopters over 15,000 pounds, and from $75 to $85 for over-25,000-pound jets, twin-engine prop aircraft and helicopters.

· Various fees for advertising wall displays also have been raised.

· The fee for ground transportation service providers also has been raised from $200 per vehicle per year to $250.

In an aside, Airport Manager Rick Baird lamented that the federal Airport and Airways Trust Fund, estimated to be $11.6 billion this year, has been used increasingly for operations of the Federal Aviation Administration rather than strictly for its intended purposes.

The fund, created in 1970 to collect fees from airlines, was designed to provide financing for airport and navigation aids capital improvements.

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