Mail: Tomasz from Poland

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Mail: Tomasz from Poland

Postby jackhodgson » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:02 pm

From: tomasz
Subject: Comment to podcast
Date: December 11, 2007 10:35:52 AM EST
To: podcast@uncontrolledairspace.com

Hi!

I'm just listening to the latest episode #58 and I'd like to give you some additional hints on why flying in Europe is that expensive.

Some background. Currently me and my buddy are learning to fly. The difference between me and him is that he is doing it back in Europe (to be precise in Poland) and I am doing it here in US (I came to US 3 years ago). So we can compare some things first hand. I won't list all the price differences between US and Poland on obvious things like gas landing fees or something like that but I'd like to point your attention on one (at least in my opinion) leading cause of such a high prices for flying in Europe.

The thing is that General Aviation in Europe is not at all General. At least in Poland. Let me point some factors:

a) Small local airports are simply not existing. Which means that you have to fly out of big airports. Imagine how expensive would be flying out of JFK or ORD?

b) There is almost no competition in flight training - one school usually "occupies" one airport. Which is more or less like here with the difference that here I have three or four airports and schools in 1h drive range and back in Poland next airport/school is in 3-4h range :-).

c) Complicated procedures. Whenever and wherever you want to go you have to _first_ contact ATC to get the permission, you have to always file a flight plan (even for local practicing flight).

The result - people find themselves better way to get some fun. And those who really want to fly are treated like "so you want to fly heh? so pay for it!"

So while I'm paying $65 for and hour on C172 in my club my friend is paying around $200 for hour in C150 back in Poland. From my $65 our club barely keeps this thing moving (maintenance, insurance and fuel) while his school is making probably around $100 on each hour of his flight.

That's why (even with TSA trying to slow it down) so many Europeans come here to learn and to fly :-)

Tomasz

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