The Ghana presidential jet “Falcon 900EX Easy” during the 28-days holiday stay by the president of Ghana John Evan Atta Mills, at New York and other parts in USA accrued $165,420 charges for airport or aerodrome facilities and air route navigation facilities within the period of Nov & Dec 2011.
It's a known fact that the charges for landing an aircraft other than airship at Government Airports/Aerodromes, parking and housing charges in USA is quite exorbitant. Many people have questioned the sense in flying a presidential jet to America, flying around and parking for over 28 days for annual holidays other than a US government invites who could receive some VIP discount for foreign government officials. One could have thought an annual holiday without a large family should have equally patronised any reputable commercial flights for such occasion.
According to the Global Business Travel Journal “it is unfathomable for a president from a third world country (Ghana) which depends largely on donors for budget support to embark on annual holidays to America for such period using the country's Presidential Jet, knowing that the parking charges for each 24 hours period or part thereof shall be 35% of the landing charges when parking period exceeds 6 hours”.
Though, others could also argue from many angles that the Falcon 900EX which flies 4,550 nautical miles nonstop, as the fastest in its class has all the necessary features for the comfortability and security of president. With its classic trijet engine design, the 900EX can use small airports at high altitudes, even on hot days. It's the most versatile aircraft and also one of the safest given its ability to fly slower on approach than its twinjet competitors.
It is also unquestionable that the state-of-the-art flight deck of Falcon 900EX offers pilots an uncompromising capability to monitor and control the progression of the flight while the spacious, custom-crafted cabin offers passengers the intransigent capability to perform at peak levels while en route.
But since all airport flight charges depend on the Maximum Land Weight (MLW) and Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW), one should taken into consideration the length of stay in USA and the weight of Ghana Presidential Jet with the Take-Off Weight of 49,000bl (22,226Kg) and the Landing Weight of 44,500lb (20,185Kg), not forgetting the security charges, parking and housing charges.
Recently, Airports in America have manipulated landing fees to encourage airlines to fly fewer planes or schedule landings for off-peak times or even less-busy airports, hence, the need for considering such charge when flying to US airports for long stay.
Credit: Antoinete Bruce (Senior Consultant – Global Travels Journals Network)