Just a thought: private jets and airport landing fees

Now that “private jet” is the new “welfare queen,” how about making them pay market prices to take off and land at major airports?

Now that “private jet” has become the new “welfare queen,” how about changing the law that forbids airports to market-price operations slots? A private jet carrying the CEO and his girlfriend uses up a slot that could otherwise allow a 777 to take off or land. That would be unaffordable at any major airport if the slots were sold at market-clearing prices.

All the other benefits of getting those prices right – being able to afford decent airports services, fewer delays – would come as gravy.

Update A reader supplies some technical detail:

Landing fees are generally assessed on aircraft weight: at LAX, e.g., fees for passenger planes are $3.85 per 1000 lbs of landed weight. But the scarce resource that needs to be allocated is runway time, and smaller planes, which are slower and more vulnerable to wake turbulence and thus need greater separation when interspersed with larger aircraft, actually consume more runway time than larger planes.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com