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"UK Airport Charge 'Shame'"
Friday, April 18, 2003
AIRPORT CHARGE 'SHAME'
United Kingdom - The Evening Mail
BIRMINGHAM has been 'named and shamed' in a blacklist of 17 airports
refusing to waive charges for private pilots making emergency landings or
weather diversions. Around 190 airports have signed up to what is described
as a 'potentially lifesaving scheme' but Birmingham International Airport
The airports have signed up following a Civil Aviation Authority
recommendation. The CAA stressed that pilots in trouble were often tempted
to press on in an emergency rather than set down at an airport where they
could incur charges.
This 'culture of pressing on' needed to be changed by educating pilots and
persuading airport owners that there should be no charge for emergency
landings or diversions.
The CAA said there were a number of fatal accidents which could have been
avoided through a diversion or precautionary landing.
'It is recommended that all aerodrome owners be persuaded to adopt a policy
that there should be no charges for emergency landings or diversions by
general aviation aircraft,' it said.
Charles Strasser, a director of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association,
said it was a potentially lifesaving scheme.
lHe said the list contained 17 'named and shamed' airports that would not
agree to adopting the CAA recommendation.
'A pilot who has an emergency situation should not have the fear of
charges,' he said.
'There was one case in the north of England where a pilot had to land and
his total fees amounted to pounds 294.
'Pilots who fear they might have to pay too much plough on, putting lives at
A spokesman for Birmingham Airport said they believed that they were in line
with CAA recommendations, however, they were willing to review the
This week Wolverhampton Business Airport, formerly Halfpenny Green, agreed
to the CAA recommendation.
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