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3 Answers

General questions on GA parking, fees and expectations at airports

Asked by: 2359 views , ,
General Aviation, Light Sport Aircraft, Private Pilot

As a new pilot, I'm struggling with the general operations at unfamiliar GA/small/medium airports. Can I just park anywhere? Am I going to be charged? There's an FBO on-site, can I just park somewhere, walk through and get picked up by a friend? 

Searching online has brought up very little, it just feels like something experienced pilots just know/understand. The AF/D has some information but most are quite limited, are there other more detailed publications I can use?



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3 Answers

  1. Gary Moore on Nov 06, 2012

    Probably yes – most small airports are pretty laid back. Some have parking fees, overnight fees – sometimes these are waived with a fuel purchase.

    But if you want to be certain – just give a call to the FBO and tell them you are coming – they will happily answer your questions. Small airport FBO’s are some of the friendly places around…

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  2. Sam Dawson on Nov 06, 2012

    As Gary wrote, call ahead. There are websites such as airnav.com that list FBO’s, fuel prices and have reviews from pilots. Foreflight and other planning software has the same thing. I also like to note the location of the FBO, especially at busier airports. Go into an airport such as Long Beach, CA and you had better have an idea of what FBO you are going to- there are several located at different locations throughout the airport and you may be assigned a runway based upon the FBO you are going to.
    Some FBOs do a great job of customer service, others not so well. Size of the airport does not necessarily indicate cost and service. Although larger airports normally have more expensive fuel and handling fees, I’ve been to airports such as PHX in a small GA airplane and was given great service at a reasonable price. Then I’ve been to smaller airports where I was charged a landing fee, parking fee, then payed a high price for gas.

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  3. Derek Schwalenberg on Nov 08, 2012

    Yeah call ahead 🙂

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