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Airport reduces landing fees

Paul Clinton

AIRPORT DISTRICT -- Christmas came a little early for the airlines

that use Burbank Airport.

Commissioners from the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority

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voted unanimously Monday to lower landing fees at the airport to signal

their appreciation for the companies’ business.

“We wanted to make a gesture that was more than just the waving of a

flag, that we were still thinking about their needs and wishes,” Pasadena

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Airport Commissioner John Crowley said. “It’s an expression of ‘we’re

glad you’re here.”’

After a profitable fiscal year -- from July 1998 to June 1999 -- the

airport’s governing board lowered fees four cents per 1,000 pounds of

aircraft for the five stakeholder airlines -- Alaska, America West,

American, Southwest and United Airlines -- and six cents for all others,

airport spokesman Victor Gill said.

The airport will now charge the stakeholders .70 cents for each 1,000

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pounds of aircraft. Other planes will now be charged $1.18 per 1,000

pounds, Gill said.

In September, the five carriers paid between $81.40 and $96.20 per

landing, depending on the size of plane used. Southwest, accounting for

65% of the landings, pays different rates because it uses three plane

sizes, Gill said.

The lower rates will mean $80,000 less revenue to the airport for the

1999-2000 fiscal year. Last year, the airport collected $2.63 million in

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landing fees, Gill said.

While the fee reduction was voluntary, Gill said the authority’s

agreement with the airlines calls for the drop if the airport has a

profitable year. As part of the agreement, the airlines have agreed to

finance the airport’s debt during lean years, Gill said.

Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Beth Harbin said the airline was happy

with the move.

“Airports are set to break even. Occasionally resources accrue,”

Harbin said. “Any time Southwest could save money, it’s a good thing.”

The reduced fees went into effect with Monday’s vote, Gill said.

In recent years, the airlines haven’t demanded fee drops so the

authority could accumulate funds to buy land for a new terminal. This

summer, the authority used those funds, in part, to buy Lockheed’s “B-6"

site for more than $100 million.

“We have kept the landing fees fairly low,” Gill said. “We are hopeful

the four cent reduction will make them feel like it’s even more

reasonable.”


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