Aircraft landing fees at the Medford airport have been significantly reduced to make the airport's rates more competitive, attract potential new business and, officials hope, boost the local economy.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the reduced rates at its weekly public meeting Wednesday.
"It's a great incentive for airlines to stay here and create new lines for ones coming in," said Commissioner C.W. Smith at the meeting. "It's important that we stay competitive."
Landing fees are charged to all commercial and business-registered aircraft not based in Medford, regardless of weight. All other aircraft that weigh more than 12,500 pounds and are not based at the airport are also charged landing fees.
Under the new rates, signatory airlines, or airlines that have operating agreements with the airport, will be charged $2.98 per 1,000 pounds on landing aircraft. The previous rate was $4.49 per 1,000 pounds.
Nonsignatory aircraft such as private planes will be charged $3.87 per 1,000 pounds, down from $5.83 per 1,000 pounds.
"(It's) a very significant reduction," said County Administrator Danny Jordan at Wednesday's meeting.
The fees are calculated by calculating airfield expenditures less airfield rents, which results in an outstanding balance.
The balance is then divided into estimated landing rates. Before a weakened economy, however, the 2012 calendar year rates include an additional subsidy.
"After review it was determined that, to be competitive in the market, a reduction was needed," said Marcy Black, airport deputy director.
The new fees will apply through Dec. 31 and are subject to year-end adjustments.
"It's an annual review that we conduct," Black said.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.