5/20/2009

As part of legislation that would reauthorize FAA programs and funding, the airport community is asking to raise the Passenger Facility Charge from its current level of $4.50 to $7. Air Transport Association President and CEO James May, in an Aviation Week OpEd, says the tax would amount to an additional $2 billion for airports annually. May writes: "PFCs are a direct tax on passengers, and it's time our airports break their addiction to them. Airports must resist treating air travelers as the equivalent of an ATM." May says there is no question that airports have valid funding needs for projects but that "they too often have been used to support controversial projects of questionable value -- like 'bike racks' -- which would also be eligible for PFC funding under the bill." May continues, "the best and most certain way to reduce flight delays and make legitimate airport improvements is not to increase the PFC tax to fund airports' pet projects, but instead to modernize our air traffic control system to alleviate airspace congestion and make better use of existing airport facilities."

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