Saturday, September 24, 2011

Opinion/Letter: Landing fee no burden for private plane owners. Hilton Head Airport (KHXD), South Carolina.

To argue that visitors would defer their visits to Hilton Head Island because of a $10 landing fee is a ludicrous argument born of sheer desperation in order to belittle a legitimate source of income for an airport that is annually supported by all of the taxpayers of Beaufort County because of the airport's inability to pay it's own way.

Those who fly to Hilton Head Island on their corporate jets pay three or four times more to arrive at their point of origin via limo, cab or parking fees than a $10 landing fee at the Hilton Head Island Airport end of their journey.

The Hilton Head airport is and will continue to be a money-losing operation until the county takes steps to address the issue, forcing the private plane owners to pay their fair share for their use of this valuable facility. They pay no landing fees now.

The argument that many other general aviation airports do not have landing fees is a poor excuse because other general aviation airports do not have the financial shortfall problem of the Hilton Head airport.

Beaufort County Council needs to get some backbone and stand up against these private plane owners who lose more on a wager in a single golf round than they would pay for landing fees.

Meanwhile, Beaufort County taxpayers suffer with limited library hours, reduced services, county staff reductions and fewer teachers to satisfy the desire of million-dollar jet owners.

Where is the justice?

Donald J. Schwarz

Hilton Head Island

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