Six general aviation-related organizations have partnered to form best business practices for FBOs, calling on them to publish an online list of pricing, fees and other charges. Today, FBOs are not required to make public the fees they charge to business and general aviation users and pilots, even though most airports receive federal funding. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), which provided initial impetus to the effort, said it had received more than 1,300 complaints on the issue in the past 18 months. Called “Know Before You Go,” adoption of the best practices will strengthen general aviation and the flight experience and provide transparency, the organizations said.

FBOs play a critical role in enabling access to airports and the communities they serve by providing a range of support services, including fueling, parking, tie-downs, aircraft maintenance and flight instruction. “This is a major step in our two-year effort to ensure reasonable airport accessibility, and we hope that [the] announcement sends a message that FBOs need to be able to accurately tell aviators in all segments of aviation what costs to expect when arriving at publicly funded airports,” said Mark Baker, AOPA president and CEO. “We believe that the release of these principles both validates that there is an issue with transparency at certain locations and provides a reasonable path to meet customer expectations.” While retail prices are readily available online through multiple websites, other pricing and fees typically are not. A joint release by the trade groups asks FBOs to “move expeditiously to implement these practices.” It also recognizes that certain providers face unique challenges and may need time to implement them, they said. The joint release was issued by the AOPA, NBAA, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International and the National Air Transportation Association.