Do ADFs/PFFs restrict airport growth?

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14 years

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Hi all, I've been looking at a number of UK airports and noticed that there has been either a decline in the number of flights operating to/from them and/or no new routes started from them for quite a substantial period of time. Many of the airports in question charge what is known as an Airport Development Fee (ADF) or Passenger Facility Fee (PFF), usually around £10.00, which is collected in addition to the fare that a passenger pays to the airline for the flight. The airports say it is necessary for them to charge these fees in order to allow them to continue investing in the infrastructure of the airport, and to a certain degree I agree with them on this matter...at the end of the day the customer wants to be able to fly to/from an airport that is kept well maintained. That said, airlines don't appear to have established new bases and/or launched any new routes to/from these airports in the last few years, and so the airports in question seem to just survive on having very few flights each day, which ultimately restricts their funds to be able to invest. Is it simply due to a lack of demand to/from these airports, or is it because the airlines know that the customer has to pay an ADF/PFF that puts them off from serving these airports, or is it a combination of both of these issues?
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11 years 4 months

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The airport shouldn't be charging passengers anything. The airport costs are covered in the landing fee and anything else the airport charges the airline to use. You buy your travel from the airline and don't always want to fly from the airport you have to use This is like having to pay a shop an entrance fee to help it keep nice carpets etc.
Profile picture for user keithnewsome

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12 years 1 month

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This is just my personal view ! I have this week booked a holiday flying from Norwich, my local / regional airport, and was aware from the outset that NWI charges each passenger £10 to escape from the locality, being one of the earliest airports to do so I think ? But my thoughts are .... alternative airports .... Stansted, Luton, Gatwick or even Heathrow ! all 100-150 miles from home, driving at very unsociable hours, paying far too much to park for a week !! and having to drive home, once again at unsociable hours, following a tiring flight from your holiday destination ! So from my point of view £10 is a small price to pay for the, in my view, advantages listed below ! 1. No airport parking charges .... £5 local cab to airport. 2. No driving miles to arrive at alternative airport 3 hrs before departure (2 hrs at NWI). 3. Holiday starts from my front door. 4. Stress level almost zero ! 5. Big point here .... can take advantage of a few bevy's on return journey .... no driving ! 6. Arrive back at local airport, £5 cab home ... job done ..... sorted !! Whilst I understand that a lot of local / regional airports have 'jumped on the bandwagon' and are charging passengers to use their facilities my view is that as long as they keep the cost at a very reasonable level it is worth it ? (see above) ? I think the lack of extra flights from these airports of late is possibly a result of the economic downturn rather than the extra charges (see above) Another example ..... in the last few years I have visited Dubai twice ... once from Norwich ... NWI/AMS/DXB for £10 extra and once LHR/DXB .... when the fares were exactly the same ! bet you can't guess which was the most stressful of the two flights ?? Keith :very_drunk:
Profile picture for user cloud_9

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14 years

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Indeed garryrussell, I agree that the costs should be covered in the landing fee and anything else the airport charges the airline to use, and this is how it works at most major airports, but its the small airports that suffer because they cannot get away with charging such high fees if they are to succeed in getting the airlines to fly to/from them. Considering that price is by far the dominant factor when it comes to who people choose to travel with (especially on short-haul trips!), the airlines obviously want the lowest possible price for landing and handling fees so that they can pass these savings onto their customers. The way they manage to get these low fees is by suggesting to the airport that they [the airline] will bring in many passengers, however after a number of years of growth the airport then asks the airline to start paying more for their fees so that the airport can keep the facilities maintained. The airlines don't like this so they choose to withdraw its routes, thus having an impact on both the airport itself and the people who used to make use of the services that were once on offer.
Profile picture for user cloud_9

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14 years

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Two recent stories, both relating to the same airport... 21st June - EasyJet says that the departure fee that Newquay charges puts it at a competitive disadvantage. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-22991857 And then... 4th October - Cornwall Council, which runs Newquay Airport, announces plans to double the ADF from £5 to £10. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-24396049 So, the UK's largest airline criticises the airport for having the fee saying that it stops airlines from offering flights to/from it and a matter of a few months later they announce plans to double it...smart, real smart!:very_drunk: