Airlines Don't Like Proposed Fee Hikes

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Right now airlines pay about six dollars per passenger in fees and rents. That figure would double over the next four years under the county’s proposed plan. Officials from Southwest, United, Alaska and other airlines asked the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday for more time to renegotiate that fee structure.

But in their weekly meeting, Supervisor Susan Peters told Southwest Airlines’ Greg Gillis that their request comes at the 11th hour.
Susan Peters: "We’ve had half a dozen meetings are so on the airport expansion generally speaking just this year and any of those times would have been an opportunity for any of your members to come forward and say ‘we have a problem with this, it’s going to be too expensive.’" 

Greg Gillis: "But we were trying to negotiate a deal with the airport during that whole time."

County officials want to hurry up and break ground on the $1 billion airport expansion project this summer…before federal officials put a building moratorium in the flood-prone Natomas area. Airline officials say the timing for new fees is bad in the midst of a weak economy.

Supervisors are expected to officially approve the new fee hikes on May 27th.