Friday, June 08, 2012

Australia: It's cheaper to park a plane than a car at our airports - Official

  • Costs more to park a car at some airports than a plane
  • The plane parking fees can end up being half the price
  • However there are other fees involved when landing a plane
SKYROCKETING parking costs at our airports mean it can now be twice as expensive to park a car than a plane. 

Travellers leaving their cars at Adelaide Airport’s short-term parking station have to fork out $30 for a day, but if they flew in on a private light plane it would cost them a fixed parking fee of just $15.34.

At Brisbane Airport it is even worse for drivers, with a spot in the domestic short-term car park setting them back $50 a day. Light planes at the airport are charged according to their maximum take-off weight (MTOW), starting at $33 for up to 5000kg.

As a bonus, the first two hours are also free for light planes at Adelaide and Brisbane airports – perfect for a quick visit or a lunchtime meeting.

Meanwhile, Perth Airport charges $38 for short-term car parking, slightly more than the $36.27 flat fee for a bay to house a light plane.

At Darwin Airport short term car parking fees cost $20 a day. A light plane parking fee there is calculated at just $2.85 per tonne MTOW. Using the example of a Piper PA-28 Cherokee jet with a MTOW of 975kg, this ends up costing just $2.75.

It is only when you add the other airport fees that it starts to make flying into these airports more expensive.

Brisbane Airport charges a minimum $60 landing fee plus a $1.13 security fee; Adelaide Airport has a minimum general aviation fee of $41.15 depending on the MTOW.

Darwin Airport charges a landing fee of $21.63 per tonne MTOW plus GST. Using the Cherokee jet example above means a fee of $21. Perth Airport charges $9.146 per tonne of MTOW so that equals $8.91 using the same example.

There are also fees for landing during peak periods at some airports, for example Brisbane Airport charges $150 between 7am and 10am and 4pm and 7pm.

Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart airports are the most expensive for light planes.

At Sydney Airport there is a flat fee of $110 per day for light plane parking, compared to $56 at the domestic car park. A runway charge of $4.88 per day also applies.

Car parking at Sydney’s Bankstown Airport is free, while planes paying $15.12 per tonne MTOW per day.

At Melbourne Airport a plane parking charge of $40 per 15 minutes applies after the first 90 minutes, compared to the $55 a day it costs to park in the short term car park. There is also a landing fee of $250.

Travellers get 12 hours free parking for their light planes at Hobart Airport, and after that a fee of $20 for that same day applies, compared to the car park fee of $15. There is also a landing fee of a minimum $40, or $16 per tonne of MTOW.

The ACCC monitors the prices of certain services provided by Australia’s major airports but this doesn’t restrict them from increasing their fees. last year found that car parking fees at major Australian airports can end up being nearly double the cost of a return airfare on domestic passenger flight.

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