AOPA UK

Strasser Scheme - Landing Fees waiver for emergencies

In the UK landing and handling fees are very high and in some places can easily amount to over £100.

In 1997 the CAA published CAP 667, Review of General Aviation Fatal Accidents 1985-1994 which included the following:-

"There were a number of fatal accidents where a timely diversion or precautionary landing could have avoided an accident. In the UK there is a ‘culture’ of pressing on and hoping for the best rather accepting the inconvenience and cost of a diversion. This ‘culture’ needs to be changed, firstly by educating pilots and secondly by persuading aerodrome owners that there should be no charge for emergency landings or diversions. It is recommended that all aerodrome owners be persuaded to adopt a policy that there should be no charges for emergency landings or diversions by general aviation aircraft.”

Since then Charles Strasser, Vice President of AOPA UK, has campaigned to persuade aerodrome operators to accept that recommendation, to the benefit of all pilots. not just AOPA members.

To date, no fewer than 205 aerodromes have agreed this potentially life saving measure.

The Civil aerodromes signed up, in alphabetical order :

Aberdeen, Aberporth, Alderney, Andrewsfield, Ashcroft, Audley-End, Bagby, Barra, Barrow, Barton, Belfast-City, Belfast International, Belle-Vue, Bembridge, Benbecula, Beverley, Bicester, Biggin Hill, Birmingham, Blackbushe, Blackpool, Bodmin, Bourn, Breighton,  Brimpton, Bristol-Intl.,  Brough,  Bruntingthorpe, Caernarfon, Cambridge, Campbeltown, Cardiff International Airport, Carlisle, Chalgrove, Charterhall, Chester-Hawarden, Clacton, Compton-Abbas, Coventry, Cranfield, Cromer, Cumbernauld, Davidstow-Moor, Denham, Derby, Doncaster, Dornoch, Dundee, Dunkeswell, Dunsfold, Durham, Duxford, Eaglescott, East-Midlands, Eday, Eddsfield, Edinburgh, Elmsett, Elstree, Enniskillen, Enstone, Exeter, Fair-Isle, Fairoaks, Farnborough, Farway-Common, Fenland, Fife,  Finmere, Fowlmere, Full-Sutton, Glasgow, Glenforsa, Gloucestershire, Goodwood, Guernsey, Gunton Park, Hanley, Hardwick, Haverfordwest, Henstridge, Hinton/Hedges, Humberside, Inverness, Islay, Isle-of-Gigha, Isle-of-Man, Isles-of-Scilly, Jersey, Kemble, Kingsmuir, Kirkwall, Lamb-Holm, Lands-End, Langar, Lasham, Lashenden-Headcorn, Lee-on-Solent, Leeds-Bradford, Leicester, Little-Gransden, Liverpool, Londonderry, Ludham, Manston, Maypole, Netherthorpe, Newcastle, Newquay, Newtownards, Nort-Ronaldsay, North-Weald, Northampton-Sywell, Norwich, Nottingham, Oaksey-Park, Oban, Old-Sarum, Old-Warden, Oxford, Panshanger, Papa-Westray,  Pembray, Perranporth, Perth, Peterborough-Conington, Peterborough-Sibson, Popham, Prestwick, Redhill, Retford-Gamston, Rochester, Sanday, Sandtoft, Seething, Sherburn-in-Elmet, Shipdham, Shobdon, Shoreham, Sleap, Southampton, Southend, Spanhoe, Stansted, Stapleford, Stornoway, Stronsay,  Sturgate, Sumburgh,  Swansea, Tatenhill, Thruxton, Tiree, Top-Farm, Truro, Turweston, Upfield Farm, Walton-Wood, Warton, Wellesbourne,Welshpool, Westray,White-Waltham, West-Freugh, Wick, Wolverhampton, Wombleton, Woodford, Wycombe-Air-Park, Yeovil, York-Rufforth.

All 35 Military aerodromes

ROYAL AIR FORCE - RAF Benson, RAF Brize Norton, RAF Colerne, RAF Coltishall, RAF Coningsby, RAF Cosford, RAF Cottesmore, RAF Cranwell, RAF Halton, RAF Henlow, RAF Honington, RAF Kinloss, RAF Leeming, RAF Leuchars, RAF Linton on Ouse, RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Lyneham, RAF Marham, RAF Newton, RAF Northolt, RAF Odiham, RAF St.Athan, RAF Scampton, RAF Shawbury, RAF Valley, RAF Waddington, RAF Wittering, RAF Woodvale, RAF Wyton.

ROYAL NAVAL AIR STATIONS - RNAS Culdrose, RNAS Yeovilton.

ARMY - Dishforth, Middle Wallop, Netheravon, Wattisham.

This concession applies to genuine emergencies and precautionary diversions to airfields other than the destination and the planned alternate airport, made by GA pilots of aircraft less than 3 tonnes not flying for hire or reward.

The waiver of fees by the aerodrome does not necessarily mean the waiver of any ground-handling fees levied by a FBO at the aerodrome.

Wide awareness means that GA pilots in a difficult situation can at least eliminate the cost factor as a potential worry.  Attention is also drawn to the need of educating pilots of their responsibility in avoiding precautionary weather diversions by good flight planning before take off, as also recommended in the relevant CAP 667 9.2(c)

In recognition of their outstanding contribution to UK General Aviation Flight Safety, AOPA has presented a “Flight Safety Award” Certificate to each of the aerodrome operators above, who have fully accepted CAA CAP 667 9.2(c) recommendation not to levy any fees from a general aviation pilot who makes a genuine emergency or diversionary landing at their aerodrome.

Aerodromes that did not join

Unfortunately 5 aerodrome operators have so far decided that they will not implement the CAP 667 9.2(c) recommendations. Hopefully they will have a change of heart and join the majority that have:  Bournemouth,  London-Luton, Lydd, Manchester.

Aerodromes not approached

London Heathrow, London City and London Gatwick.

The full CAA CAP 667 9.2(c) recommendation states:-“There were a number of fatal accidents where a timely diversion or precautionary landing could have avoided an accident. In the UK there is a ‘culture’ of pressing on and hoping for the best rather accepting the inconvenience and cost of a diversion. This ‘culture’ needs to be changed, firstly by educating pilots and secondly by persuading Aerodrome owners that there should be no charge for emergency landings or diversions. It is recommended that all Aerodrome owners be persuaded to adopt a policy that there should be no charges for emergency landings or diversions by general aviation aircraft.” 

For initiating the “Strasser Scheme” and his persistence over the past 11 years in getting over 200 airports and airfields in the British Isles to participate Charles Starsser was awarded the 2010 CAA GA Safety Award. 

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