Good news for UK pilots who thought flying was really expensive: Its actually cheaper to park your aircraft at a UK airport than to park your car at one! Specifically and according to a survey by the The Independent that was also picked up by the Daily Mail, its cheaper to leave your six-seater light aircraft on the tarmac for 24-hours rather than your car in a short-stay car park with the widest disparity being found at Liverpool John Lennon Airport where a 24-hour short-stay for a vehicle costs £39.99 but parking your aircraft will cost you just £10.72.
The most expensive airport for parking was Heathrow Terminal 5 which has a 24-hour rate of £51.80 – more than the cost of an off-peak flight to Aberdeen. Of course, Heathrow along with Gatwick and Stansted do not routinely handle light aircraft.
Manchester, the biggest regional airport in the UK, will charge £35 for 24 hours in the short-stay car park but if you want to park your six-seater Piper PA-46 there, it will only cost you £21 because such an aircraft weighs just under two tonnes. However, Emirates, which flies a "superjumbo" A380 between Manchester and Dubai, pays nothing for parking because the first four hours are free and they only keep the aircraft on the ground for 105 minutes. Likewise, some airports like Birmingham will also charge motorists just for dropping off passengers but if you are an aircraft owner, you can get up to two hours of free parking.
Meanwhile and up in Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow will charge you £23.50 and £21.00 respectively to park your car but it will only cost £11.90 and £11.52 to park a two-tonne plane (However, Glasgow will double parking fees for aircraft owners who are not regular users of the airport).
In other words and the next time you fly (whether its commercial or your own private aircraft), take public transportation to the airport (and quit complaining about how expensive the UK makes it for private pilots to fly!)