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Campbell River Airport landing fees get mixed reviews from council

A proposed landing fee for recreational aircraft at the Campbell River Airport is getting mixed reviews from council.

Airport Manager Dennis Brodie told councillors Tuesday the proposed $10 landing fee ($15 for international flights) would ensure a segment of users are paying into the airport.

He likened it to roads where all users pay for upkeep and says piston-driven aircraft have been essentially using the airport “for free” when they land and take off but stay less than six hours.

But two councillors are hesitant to the notion of charging piston-driven aircraft every time they touch down.

Coun. Sean Smyth says the city got out of the Avgas business in 2012 because it didn’t make financial sense. He doesn’t agree with a fee to make up for no Avgas fuel concessions.

Coun. Susan Sinnott is “very hesitant” to introduce a fee believing it might hurt airport tenants and the rest of the airport that’s struggled financially for years.

Both have indicated they want Brodie to look at other options.

Brodie has estimated the landing fees and a host of other ancilliary charges could yield $30,000 to $40,000 in new revenue.

Some on council are concerned the revenue may not be worth the cost in reputational damage to the airport.

But Mayor Kermit Dahl says it’s “not the job of the municipal taxpayer to subsidize the airport” which was as much as $380,000, five years ago.

Councillors received the report but took no immediate action.

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