Airports Council International-North America has asked Raymond LaHood, the Department of Transportation secretary, to back the House language in the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill increasing the ceiling for the passenger facility charge from $4.50 to $7.00.
In a letter sent to LaHood, ACI-NA President Greg Principato said: “The enactment of the $7.00 PFC in the House FAA Reauthorization bill will create jobs immediately at airports, construction companies, building supply companies, and engineering and architectural firms while improving and building the infrastructure necessary to meet the future needs of the national air transportation system.”
Principato estimated that 40,000 jobs around the nation would be created if every airport adopted the increase. These jobs would be in addition to the 80,000 created by the $4B allocated for the Airport Improvement Program provided in both bills.
Principato also sent the coalition letter signed by 19 aviation, transportation, construction and local government groups that support the House language raising the PFC ceiling.
In the letters sent to House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James L. Oberstar, D-Minn.; House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member John L. Mica, R-Fla.; Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John D. Rockefeller, D-W. Va.; and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, the coalition stated:
“The need for new airport infrastructure to meet the demands of future air traffic is substantial and without an increase in this important funding mechanism airports will not be able to keep up with demand. Additionally, there are a number of airports that desperately need to modernize and repair aging infrastructure to ensure passenger safety and customer service.”
The letters cited the organization’s 2009 Capital Needs Study that showed there are more than $94B in airport capital projects that need to begin between 2009 and 2013, breaking down to about $18.9B per year.
The PFC cap has been at $4.50 for the past 10 years and has not been adjusted for inflation; had it been, it would be worth $8.14 today.