Sumary of Court halts steep fee hikes for flight schools at Wonderboom airport:
- Getty Images The City of Tshwane has hiked training fees charged at Wonderboom airport.
- Flight schools using the airport claim this is putting their businesses and affordable pilots training at risk.
- Eleven flight schools operating from the Wonderboom national airport in Pretoria have obtained an urgent interim interdict against the City of Tshwane to halt the implementation of steep training fee hikes.
- The applicants operate flight schools and training facilities at the airport, offering training for new pilots and crew which must be carried out at an airport or aerodrome.
- But in its 2021/22 budget, the City of Tshwane opted to increase the fees paid by flight schools at Wonderboom – referred to as training fees – by an effective 139% to 321%.
- On Tuesday, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ordered that the large training fee hikes could not be implemented pending the final outcome of an internal appeal lodged by the training schools with the municipality, as well as the finalisation of any related review applications.
- JB Haasbroek, who represented the flight schools in their court application, told Fin24 on Thursday that it is standard practice to apply discounted or subsidised fees for flight training purposes at airports across the country.
- The discount is applied because pilot training requires more take-offs and landings and higher costs would have to be passed on to students, Haasbroek said.