Some airports (mostly busy Class B airports from what I gather) have a landing fee. For example, in the Airport Facility Directory for San Francisco, there is a section under "AIRPORT REMARKS" that says "Ldg fee." In a Summary of Airport Charges for San Francisco airport, this fee is listed as at least $190 for Fixed-wing GA aircraft! There is no mention in this document about how the fee is collected, however.

How is this fee collected?

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    $\begingroup$ Won't answer because I cant for the US. But in the UK at small airfields it's usually just the guy sitting in the hut (tower!) $\endgroup$ – Jamiec Oct 28 '15 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec And we even have a specific sign (Black 'C' on a yellow background) for the location that visiting pilots should head to upon landing. $\endgroup$ – Dan Oct 28 '15 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Dan that sounds like a taxiway marker for taxiway "Charlie". $\endgroup$ – CJBS Oct 28 '15 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ @CJBS I guess so, though it's a lot more obvious in reality ukga.com/images/content/image31589.jpg $\endgroup$ – Dan Oct 28 '15 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Jamiec Chaper 6 Page 5 of CAP637 (caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP637%20Visual%20Aids%20Handbook.pdf) $\endgroup$ – Dan Oct 28 '15 at 16:05

This depends on the airport but at KPNE where I used to fly there was a $5 landing fee (paid to the city of Philadelphia) that was collected at the FBO (where I rented the plane from) when I paid for the rental. I think if you do not pass through an FBO they will hunt the tail number down and send a bill to the party that has the aircraft registered. Its tough to fly into an airport and not pass through the FBO (unless you are just doing touch and goes). I would assume that for commercial traffic the airline/owning body pays and may even be billed by the airport monthly but I don't know the specifics I only know what I have seen for GA traffic.

If you are curious you can check out the Philadelphia Airport (KPHL and KPNE) legislation here which outlines the various fess and collection mechanisms the city imparts. Keep in mind these are city owned airports, see section V for details on collection but in short,

Section V Part d

Non-tenant Air Carriers and Operators not providing adequate surety or security in form and amount satisfactory to the Department of Commerce, to ensure payment of fees and charges, shall be required to pay all incurred fees and charges prior to aircraft departure.

For the point of contrast lets take a small privately owned airport here in the US, Solberg Airport in NJ has "ramp fees" for parking and the such, but like most small airports like this, these fees are waved with the purchase of fuel (usually at least some minimum amount). There would be no way to avoid paying (well Im sure there is) since usually the only way off the tarmac is through the FBO.

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    $\begingroup$ I've flown into hundreds of airports in the US and they pretty much all work this way. The FBO collects the fee (along with their own fees). A few airports (like KMIA) also have a GC center that is run by the airport which you have to go to if you don't go to an FBO, and they can contact the tower to deny takeoff clearance if you don't visit them first. $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Oct 28 '15 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Lnafziger So what happens if it's a touch-n-go? Or is this just impractical given that it's typically such busy airports probably wouldn't allow this in the first place? $\endgroup$ – CJBS Oct 28 '15 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ KPNE does allow them (load permitting) and remember you entered with a hail that included your tail number, they can find you pretty easily. I believe if you are inbound for some touch and goes then depart they will send you a bill. $\endgroup$ – Dave Oct 28 '15 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ @CJBS If you are asking about MIA, during the first time that you visit they get your billing information, so it doesn't matter anymore. I'm not sure that they will let you do on if you haven't visited before though. $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Oct 28 '15 at 16:21

Two additional ways:

  1. A little metal box with a slot at the top where your expected to shove some dollar bills in

  2. Some airports collect landing fees by sending you a bill to the address in the FAA database.

  • $\begingroup$ What's a "losing" fee? $\endgroup$ – CJBS Oct 30 '15 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ It's the fee you "lose" when landing at an airport. ;) $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Oct 30 '15 at 17:37

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