Airport associations want to nearly double passenger fees, citing the need to modernize facilities.
AirportsUnited and the American Association of Airport Executives want to hike the Passenger Facility Charge from $4.50 to $8.50, The Hill reports.
It “would provide airports around the country with the locally controlled self-help they need to finance critical infrastructure projects without relying on scarce federal funds,” said the group.
The groups adds that the PFC hasn’t been increased since 2000 and has therefore not kept up with inflation. By increasing the fee and indexing it, “local communities [will have ] the ability to set their individual PFC user fees based on locally determined needs for ensuring the safety and security of their airports.”
This proposal will face staunch opposition from passengers and airlines, The Hill said. Airlines for America polled U.S. voters and they oppose the hike by 82 percent.
“The lack of a crisis in airport funding hasn’t prevented some from trying to invent one,” A4A President Nicholas Calio said. He added that the 30 major airports in the country were able to undergo $70 billion in capital projects with the current PFC level.
Calio believes that “the U.S. economy cannot afford higher taxes and fees”, but also that “airports are capable of addressing capital needs through existing revenues.”
The proposal to hike the PFC will come up upon the renewal of the Federal Aviation Administration’s budget next September.