IMCR wrote:In the land of capitalism the last time I landed at Miami Int. I was taken aback when it was suggested I really should take fuel. The fuel prices were pretty average for Florida, not the cheapest, but no significant premium. I asked why. Well, the landing fee is $50, otherwise free with fuel. The hospitality, including soft drinks and some food was also free, as was the drive to and from the aircraft.
What's ironic is that in the case of aviation, it's the US that appears to be socialist, and the UK capitalist. In the US airports and ATC are federally funded, so that's why competition has brought the landing fee down to nothing or nearly nothing when you're clearly costing them more than that to serve you. Equal access is also federally mandated to airports receiving federal funding, which is basically all of them. In the UK, the government's capitalist "user pays" policy has led the CAA to permit siloed airspace and (commercially) unregulated airports, even though they have local monopolies thanks to planning laws, leading to the deliberate pricing out of GA at most major airports. The CAA could still fulfil their "user pays" mandate with joined up airspace and the provision of equal access with pricing that fairly reflects costs, but that's harder to set up and even harder to transform into, so they haven't done that, and so we have disjoint, effectively-closed-to-GA airspace, effectively-closed-to-GA airports, an excess of infringements and so on.
Rant over. Carry on