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 AOPA two tone 125x101 weblogo  HIAL Airport Charges Increase from 1 April 2024

Highland and Islands Airport Ltd (HIAL) have published charges for the use of their airports with effect from 1 April 2024. Details can be found here.

For private GA flights in light aircraft the charges have increased over 300% compared to 2023 charges. The significant changes have been the introduction of a navigation fee of £15 (+VAT) for aircraft under 2,500 kg and parking fees, the first 60 minutes are free and then charges of £40 (exc VAT) for the next 4 hours and then £2.50 (exc VAT) per hour, or part thereof, thereafter for aircraft up to 10,000 kg. An 8 hour stay for a private flight in an aircarft under 2,500 kg the basic cost will be:

Landing Fee: £21 +VAT

Navigation Fee: £15 + VAT

Parking: 60 minutes free, £40 + VAT for the next 4 Hours and £2.50 + VAT for the next 3 hours

Total: £100.20 inc VAT (The cost in 2023 would have been £31.18 inc VAT)

Other services would be additionally charged for if used.

When the 2024 charges were published, AOPA contacted HIAL with a number of questions in order to establish what charges would apply to private flights and some further clarifications. We have today received a response from Alastair Gleave, HIAL Chief Commercial Office. The salient points from his response are:

1) For clarification cost sharing flights meet the deifintion of a private flight. HIAL will review their wording.

2) The navigation fee covers all aspects of air navigation service provision, including Communication, Navigation, Surveillance (CNS), Meteorological (MET) and Air Traffic Services (ATS) – both Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS), as applicable.  Therefore, the navigation fee for air navigation services will apply to both IFR and VFR operations.

AOPA: Many of the services listed are not required by private pilots who self-handle and this charge will be challenged.

3) The review of HIAL’s Conditions of Use and charges identified aircraft parking as an area that required re-assessment. The published parking fees apply for all aircraft. The feedback received has highlighted the unintended impact of the new pricing scales on the private light aircraft community.  The inclusion of an additional parking scale for aircraft up to 2.5 tonnes will be explored.

AOPA: It has been pointed out to HIAL that Dundee offer a 24 hour flat fee of £15 (+VAT) per day for light aircraft parking on grass. A similar flat fee should be considered for other HIAL airports.

Martin Robinson