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Passengers want no increase in airport taxes

Passengers want no increase in airport taxes

Travelers United, a Washington-based advocacy group for travelers, issued the following statement regarding the DeFazio/Massie bill: “America’s aviation consumers don’t deserve an increase in airport taxes.”

“Few members of the public have to deal with so many random taxes and fees ranging from TSA Security Fees and airport fees to airline fees from everything from seat reservations to pillows and blankets,” according to Charles Leocha, President of Travelers United. “It is time that the regions of our country that benefit directly from airport activity and business pay their fair share. Consumers have had enough and already pay a fair share.”

US Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and committee member Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) announced a bill that would uncap the airport passenger facility charge (PFC), allowing airports to charge passengers more than the current $4.50 per enplanement fee.

If passed, the bill will also cut $400 million from Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants. Large airport hubs would have to forgo AIP funds in order to have the ability to charge above the current $4.50 fee.

Every director of every airport across the country will proclaim that their airport is the economic engine of their region. However, the regions’ businesses are not paying their fair share for airport construction and operations. Passengers are being stuck with the bill.

The current passenger facility charges (PFCs) are being used to guarantee financing of municipal bonds and have already been committed far into the future. The benefits to passengers today are almost non-existent.

Passengers are also the ones to pay parking fees, food court fees, retail fees, taxi fees, rental car fees, and more to keep the airports running to serve their regions. It is time that the nearby industrial property owners and businesses pay for the airports that makes their property worth more than random pasture lands.

Owners of massive parking lots that serve airports and car rental companies need to pay their share. Landlords of the office parks that have mushroomed around airports should be paying their fair share. Hotel owners should be shouldering their share of airport costs and improvements. Without an airport, all these businesses would go bust.

“PFC user fees are already exorbitant and aviation consumers are paying enough,” according to Leocha. “The metropolitan areas that are benefiting from the massive economic impact that airports deliver should pay their fair share. Stop using airline passengers like a bottomless piggy bank.”

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