The US Federal Aviation Administration has announced its intention to start charging airlines crossing US-controlled airspace. Opposition from overseas carriers to the move have delayed it by four years.

About 235,000 flights cross US continental and oceanic airspace annually without landing or taking off. From 2 August, most will be subject to fees. Exceptions to the rule are to be made for Canadian domestic flights and military or government-operated aircraft.

Based on a charge of $36.43 per 185km (100nm) and $20.16 for 185km of oceanic airspace, the FAA says it will raise close to $40 million in the first 12 months.

International airlines, and in particular Asia-Pacific operators, have been fighting to block the congressional mandated fees since 1997. US-controlled oceanic airspace encompasses much of the central and northern Pacific, extending almost as far west as the Philippines and north of Alaska. It also extends across much of the Caribbean and North Atlantic.

For flights from Narita, Japan, to Calgary, Canada, the new fees will result in an extra charge of $820 for the 3,790km of US en route and oceanic airspace used. Flights between Amsterdam and Jamaica will cost $427 more.

Source: Flight International