Last updated: 08:31 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015

A4A Survey: Facility Charge Hike 'Simply Not Necessary'

Airlines & Airports | Airlines for America | Rich Thomaselli | March 05, 2015

A4A Survey: Facility Charge Hike 'Simply Not Necessary'

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Take it with a grain of salt – as many airport executives apparently have – but a new survey commissioned by the lobby group for airlines has found that an overwhelming majority of people oppose an increase in the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC).

The survey of 1,000 registered voters, conducted by The Tarrance Group on behalf of Airlines for America (A4A), found 82 percent of voters oppose almost doubling the PFC and tying future automatic increases to inflation. Additionally, the survey noted, voters also understand airports have the resources they need to fund projects and believe air travelers are already taxed enough.

Airports are asking that the current $4.50 cap on PFCs be raised to $8.50 per ticket to help fund airport improvements and infrastructure.

 “The lack of a crisis in airport funding hasn’t prevented some from trying to invent one,” A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said in a statement. “Since 2008, over $70 billion of airport capital projects have been completed, are underway or are approved by U.S. airlines and their airport partners at the nation’s largest 30 airports. Voters correctly believe that airports have plenty, yet passengers are taxed enough.”

"Surprise, surprise, an airline-sanctioned survey reached a conclusion supported by the airlines," Todd Hauptli, CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives, told USA Today. "We are eager to see how respondents view bag fees and other ancillary charges that hit passengers with billions of dollars in added costs that do nothing more than flow to the pockets of the airline industry."

On Thursday, A4A released a letter from leading passenger airline CEOs urging House and Senate leadership to oppose an increase in the current PFC.

“Unfortunately, many of our airport partners are advocating for a historic tax hike on the traveling public through a nearly 90 percent increase in the PFC airport tax,” states the letter from the A4A Board of Directors members who are CEOs of the major U.S. passenger airlines. “This is simply not necessary as significant airline investments combined with airports’ resources and funding streams provide airports with the funds for improvement projects needed today and in the future. Airlines and airports have a history of partnering on significant improvements. Since 2008, over $70 billion of capital projects have been completed, are underway or approved at the nation’s 30 largest airports alone, and development is robust at smaller airports across the country as well.”

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