Last updated: 01:46 PM ET, Thu October 08 2015

Airlines and Supporters: Don't Divert TSA Fees For Highways

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | October 08, 2015

Airlines and Supporters: Don't Divert TSA Fees For Highways

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The airlines and its supporters in the travel industry are urging Congress not to divert more than $7 billion in Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fees to offset costs associated with the highway trust fund.

“Airline passengers should not be used as a piggy bank to pay for highway investments that benefit highway users,” the group collectively wrote to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. “Additionally, using TSA security fees to offset the deficit in the Bipartisan Budget Act was a misguided policy choice that redirected important security funds away from their intended and needed use. To charge travelers more without an increase in service or benefit cannot and should not become a common practice for policy makers.”

The Senate approved a highway bill in July that includes $4 billion from customs fees and $3.5 billion from the TSA fees to provide funding for three years' worth of infrastructure improvement to highways

The group penning the letter includes Airlines for America (A4A), Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), The International Air Transport Association (IATA), Travelers United and the U.S. Travel Association.

The funding is set to expire Oct. 29.

The group wrote that it supports highway funding, but not at the expense of airline travelers.

 “We share your goal of reaching a compromise to provide healthy highway funding, but we urge you to ensure that basic principles of fairness are upheld,” the coalition wrote. “We appreciate the funding challenges that face our nation, but the burden to fund all aspects of the federal government should not fall on the shoulders of aviation passengers.”

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