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Yesterday, I landed, taxied in, shut down and before I’d opened the door I noticed a yellow jacketed gentleman waiting for me beside the aircraft. “Oh no!” I thought, “What have I done this time?”. I wasn’t expecting customs or SB on this 15 min domestic flight so I thought that I must have transgressed some rule at this famously unpleasant airfield, where you can be ‘arrested’ for not wearing a yellow jacket. And the chap was holding something toward me – a taser?

Putting up my best looking greeting grimace, I climbed down as he walked over to me. I realised that the ‘Taser’ was a credit card machine.

“Landing Fee?” he said. For a moment I was having trouble keeping a grip on reality. Was this a candid camera job, or surprise performance where he peeled off his uniform and danced in skimpy underwear? Disappointingly there was no camera crew visible, and he was deadly serious about the landing fee.

I was being doorstepped for a landing fee!!! Apparently, lots of people ‘abscond’ from this airfield. I’m not surprised. I told him that he was in my way and to come back later. He did.

We had a very civilised conversation about how, in all my years, etc. etc., I’d never been doorstepped for a landing fee and anyway, considering that aircraft have great big letters painted on them, how could anyone ‘abscond’ without being tracked down, etc. etc,. So eventually I gave him my card expecting the customary £20 to come up. But no! The landing fee is apparently now no longer "£20, but … wait for it… £10!! Half price, with a free Rottweiler included! (Totally unfair – he was a very nice chap and highly embarrassed at the position his employer had put him in).

So there is absolutely no prize at all for the first person who can guess the name of this weirdly managed UK airfield. (Here’s a clue: £7K fine).

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom

I don’t understand. I would be perfectly fine with this, would you be happier if you had to go some building and pay there?

EHTE

Yes, I’d be fine to pay on my own terms and when I want to, not to have some yellow jacketed ‘official’ accost me when I’m still working on the plane and might be distracted in some vital action.

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom

Aveling wrote:

The landing fee is apparently now no longer "£20, but … wait for it… £10!! Half price,

If you set up an account they would post you the invoice for the landings.

Landing fee for 1956kg has also gone down from £42.41 to £18.53 so its very reasonable.

Also a good team on the radio as well.

quatrelle wrote:

If you set up an account they would post you the invoice for the landings.

Sadly not. I’ve had an account there for very many years, but apparently not any more. Not for me, anyway.

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom

Aveling wrote:

So there is absolutely no prize at all for the first person who can guess the name of this weirdly managed UK airfield. (Here’s a clue: £7K fine).

It still a nice place to visit assuming you have a working RT correctly tunned

Bobo wrote:

would you be happier if you had to go some building and pay there?

Always happy to go there, preferably after having coffee/lunch in the restaurant and my mandatory loo checks

The easy way to get rid of “random officials in weirdly managed airfield” is to ask help/give a job, catch phrases are:
- The curious guy: “can you help us getting stuff out?”, “can you hold this for me?”
- The accountant guy: “don’t have cash/card, can you give us a lift to the nearest city local bank branch before 4pm?”
- The reporting guy: “will not find our way to the tower/customs, can you come with us?”

Most chasers will disappear when you ask them for spontaneous/innocent help

Last Edited by Ibra at 07 Aug 15:20
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Ibra wrote:

The curious guy: “can you help us getting stuff out?”, “can you hold this for me?”

You are so right! Actually I asked some very pleasant Dutch border police if they would refuel the plane for me while I went to the tower and they suddenly had something more important to do.

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom

There was a time (may still be the case, I don’t know) that when you landed a BizJet at Lagos, a very smartly uniformed lady with a clipboard would come aboard and say “$50 please.”

The first time you encountered this, you said, successively, “Are you from the airport? Handling Agent? Immigration? Health? Where are you from?

Her reply would be “$50 please.”

This conversation would continue a couple of times until you said “F*** off out of my aeroplane”, which she then proceeded to do.

Of course, thereafter you are wised up, and you start with that conversational gambit.

I guess she only had to have someone fall for it a couple of times a month and that was her family fed. Respect

I have been engines started at Berne when a van pulled up in front of me. It turned out that handling was compulsory for my weight, and, despite the fact that I had successfully self handled he wanted his money.

Not sure which is the worse shark. At least the woman in Lagos needed the money to feed her family.

EGKB Biggin Hill

Bobo wrote:

I don’t understand. I would be perfectly fine with this, would you be happier if you had to go some building and pay there?

Personally, I often need to buy fuel as well and would rather pay just one bill rather than two, and do it when I’ve got done securing the aircraft. It’s also cheaper for the airport (only one card processing fee instead of two).

Andreas IOM

So, where is this mystery airport?

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Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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