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State Plans to Raise Honolulu Airport Landing Fees

December 3, 1993

HONOLULU (AP) _ Airlines may see landing fees soar as much as 500 percent at Honolulu International Airport under a proposal that comes as relations between airlines and airport managers have become strained elsewhere.

A dispute over a fee increase nearly closed the Los Angeles airport this week when airlines refused to pay more and the airport threatened to keep them from landing.

The fee hikes proposed for Hawaii, the result of two years of negotiations between airlines and state officials, will be the subject of hearings the end of this month.

Under the proposal, landing fees would jump from $1.37 to $8.32 per 1,000 pounds of gross landing weight. A fully loaded DC-10 aircraft would pay $3,300 to land, or about $9.50 more per passenger than they do now.

Interisland carriers would pay less.

Dieter Huckestein, chairman of the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, said at a hearing Wednesday his industry opposes a large increase.

″We should do everything possible to accommodate the airlines and not to increase the landing fees substantially,″ he said.

Department of Transportation Director Rex Johnson argued that Honolulu’s fees are among the country’s lowest and the increase would place the airport at about average compared with others in the country.

On Wednesday, airlines agreed, under protest, to pay the higher landing fees Los Angeles adopted July 1. In a settlement the Clinton administration helped negotiate, the airlines will pay $16 million to $18 million immediately, including increases retroactive to July.

The Los Angeles International Airport promised no further increases before July 1994. The airlines, meanwhile, are in court trying to get the fees knocked back.

Those fees more than tripled July 1, from 51 cents to $1.56 per 1,000 pounds. That means a Boeing 747 landing costs an airline about $900.

-12-03-93 1326EST

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