Recently a number of the folks who I’m now referring to as “freighter haters” put out a blast of information that’s simply wrong. I’ve posted a summary page on sierrafoot.org, look for the UPS freighter icon in Hot Topics. That linked page includes links to relevant source documents. The one of current interest is the Mather Airport Master Plan Draft EIR, another that includes airport fees is the 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the Sacramento County Airport System.
A super-abbreviated summary is this: Nothing plans for or forecasts 600 flights per day of large freighters over El Dorado Hills. The DEIR counted a daily average of 6.87 per day as existing conditions in 2007; it forecasts growth to 8.97 by 2025.
SMF Terminal B construction is funded mainly by Passenger Facility Charge fees — currently $4.50 per enplanement — and not by landing fees ($4.19 per thousand pounds of landed aircraft weight). In short, passengers pay for terminal improvements, airlines don’t. Where airlines have economic issues it’s usually due to actual operating costs. Fuel costs alone run between about $5,000 and $10,000 per flight hour, depending on aircraft type and current price of JET-A.
SMF landing fees might be a little bit above average for similar airports, but not by a lot. That title probably goes to Lambert St. Louis International, at $8.96 per thousand pounds, more than double SMF’s fee.
We have some flying baloney in our area, but it’s the political belief sort. It doesn’t come from real aircraft or real airports.
El Dorado Hills