Facing what has been described as nearly $100 billion in infrastructure needs, airports across the country would like to see passenger user fees increased to help them pay for a variety of facility upgrades.
But, according to the Airports Council International—North America, the new Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018 fails to take into account the benefits that could come from increased fees.
The reauthorization legislation, which has won the approval of the House of Representatives on a 393 to 13 vote, “misses a significant opportunity to provide airports with the resources they require to repair aging infrastructure,” remarked Kevin Burke, the president of ACI-NA, in a statement.
Burke added that the nation’s airports also need increased funding to “accommodate rising passenger and cargo volume, and enhance air service competition for the benefits of passengers.”
Especially critical of the current federal cap on the Passenger Facility Charge use fee, Burke said there is a federal funding shortfall that “puts airports of all sizes at a significant disadvantage for modernizing their facilities to meet the needs of air passengers and local communities.”
The Congressional vote extends the spending authority of the Federal Aviation Administration into 2023 and allocates around $4.3 billion a year to the FAA, with $3.3 billion of that amount going for airport infrastructure projects.
The bill is expected to be taken up by the Senate later this month.
By Garry Boulard
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