For many years there has been no landing fee for small aircraft at Trudeau and Mirabel Airports. So it came as a complete surprise when we, along with several tenants and other customers, learned via invoices (some of which were for hundreds of dollars) that a new landing fee, starting at $46.68 plus tax has been introduced on January 1, without consultation with anyone from our sector of aviation.
There are a number of small aircraft located at Trudeau, as well as a flight school and businesses serving GA aircraft, and Trudeau is used extensively for clearing Customs and as a convenient destination for getting to business meetings by small aircraft.
COPA has done some preliminary research into how this fee came into being. It appears that although there was some consultation with an “Airline Consultative Committee,” no GA people were contacted.
One COPA member said the Authority reported they did not know how to reach GA customers. Well, they certainly do know how to reach customers because invoices have begun showing up (customers are billed semi-monthly, payable on receipt and subject to interest charges).
The new fee is buried on the Authority’s website, where we managed to find it after some research. It is linked from our Places to Fly listings for these airports.
We also found a public notice from Nov. 2, 2006 that refers to air carrier fees being increased and another notice from Dec. 28, which mentions the new minimum landing charge.
This method of informing the public is unacceptable and we will be working toward educating the Authority in this regard, starting with a meeting with the president of the Authority as soon as it can be arranged.
This is more than a local issue. We urge everyone who believes that this no-notice method of introducing a fee is wrong and/or the amount of the fee is unreasonable to comment directly to the ADM either by filling out a contact form here, by mail at 1100 Rene-Levesque Blvd West, Suite 2100, Montreal, Quebec H3B 4X8 or if you received an invoice, at the contact phone number on your invoice.
COPA’s Quebec Director, Frank Hofmann firstname.lastname@example.org, is working the issue. Next step for COPA’s reaction to the surprise fee is in the formative stages and depends on the Authority’s reaction to our initial contacts. We will work to organize the local and provincial GA interests for a combined response.
Surprise fees remain a significant issue with COPA. That is why we urge members to check our Places to Fly on our website for information about fees when you plan a flight. We also urge you to contact the airport management if you are uncertain about fees, and update the Places to Fly listing with what you have found, in order that we may minimize the surprises.