FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2017
WASHINGTON – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) today welcomed the introduction of the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act that would improve airport infrastructure by modernizing the local Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) user fee and increasing funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
“There has been a lot of talk in Washington this year about improving infrastructure, but so far very little action,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “The Senate’s transportation funding bill is the first bill that puts real action behind the rhetoric by providing sustainable funding streams to help airports of all sizes upgrade their facilities, attract new air service, and improve the passenger experience. Senators Susan Collins and Jack Reed demonstrated strong leadership and political courage today by providing all airports with a real funding solution to meet their $100 billion in aviation infrastructure needs.”
All airports benefit from having the ability to generate more local revenue for runways, taxiways, terminals, gates, and other projects that improve aviation safety, increase capacity, and improve the passenger experience. Modernizing the PFC and bolstering AIP now will give airports and the local communities they serve the funding flexibility they need to improve their facilities and offer more air service options to passengers.
“America’s airports are powerful economic drivers for local communities,” Burke said. “Once this bill is enacted into law, airports will immediately put new funding resources to use upgrading their facilities, creating an estimated 2.1 million jobs, and stimulating economic growth in communities across the country.”
For 17 years, Congress has refused to address the significant infrastructure needs of America’s airports. In that time, airports have had to do more with less as the purchasing power of the outdated PFC has reduced by nearly half. Passenger traffic across U.S. airports grew to more than 850 million passengers last year, but passengers continued to experience outdated facilities and airline monopolies. Local communities have been shortchanged on important economic opportunities that come with a vibrant community airport.
“ACI-NA thanks the Senate Appropriations Committee leadership for standing with airports by including this important provision in their transportation spending bill, including THUD Subcommittee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME), THUD Subcommittee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI), Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT). ACI-NA will continue to work with them and their colleagues to ensure airports are able to meet their infrastructure needs for the benefit of their passengers and communities.”