What landing fee should I charge?
We are often asked about what to charge. We also receive many comments from pilots who are disgruntled about some landing fees.
The short answer is charge what you feel is commensurate with the cost of providing the service.
What services am I providing?
As a helipad owner or general helicopter site owner, you will be providing any all of the services below which have varying value depending on the specifics of the location.
- Private land which is being held clear and lent out
- Maintenance of the landing zone
- Repositioning of horses, sheep, bees or other animals
- A loaner car
- A car transfer to a local site
- A site survey for the benefit of pilots
- Planning permission
If you don’t have any commercial facilities and are just providing the landing location then it is perfectly acceptable to charge a fee. Normally the pilot will be bringing customers to your site for access to other commercial facilities (nearby airports, for example).
Some flights are commercial (ie public transport) and some are private (ie the pilot owns the aircraft himself). It’s acceptable to differentiate your charges between these two cases, particularly if your location has no other commercial facilities.
In the UK, planning permission is required under the 29-day rule – see Helicopter Landing Site Compliance.
What do most helipads and landings sites charge?
It’s very rare that people have a logical way of charging for landings and this is frustrating for pilots. The vast majority are free where the location is selling another service ie a hotel or restaurant. This is logical as you are providing a facility for customers on arrival.
A typical landing fee is $10-$50 and this will rise to $200-$1000 for popular events (eg Glastonbury) where the landing site operator has a monopoly on things. It’s often the case that the free landing sites provide better service eg a loaner car.
If you enjoy helicopters and want them to come in then you can always make it free (like the founders do at their site).
Helipaddy did a survey of UK landing fees a few years ago which you can find at Landing Fees at Private Helicopter Sites (UK law)