Airports Welcome Legislation to Eliminate Federally Imposed Limit on Infrastructure Investment

Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) today welcomed the introduction of the Investing in America: Rebuilding America's Airport Infrastructure Act by Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and  Thomas Massie (R-KY). The bill would eliminate the federally imposed cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) user fee and provide airports more local control to make airport infrastructure investment decisions. 

“Because of their powerful ability to grow economies and create jobs, America’s airports must be at the heart of any efforts toward building a 21st century infrastructure,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “We welcome Representatives DeFazio and Massie’s bipartisan leadership to get Washington out of the way of local infrastructure decisions. We will continue our important work with the Trump Administration and Congress to ensure no airport is left behind in the global marketplace.”

Collectively, airports generate more than $1.1 trillion in economic output. That’s more than seven percent of U.S. GDP. More than 1.2 million people work at U.S. airports. Airports support more than 9.6 million jobs in communities all across the United States.

America’s airports are a fundamental component of our nation's transportation infrastructure, annually welcoming more than 800 million passengers last year. Passenger numbers are expected to hit one billion by 2029. To meet the capacity demands of the future with safe, secure, efficient, and modern facilities that passengers and cargo shippers expect, we need to make the investments to maintain and modernize our nation's infrastructure.

Since its inception in 1990, the locally set Passenger Facility Charge user fee has become the foundation of airport capital investment, funding FAA approved projects to improve the passenger experience by eliminating congestion, increasing airline competition, improving safety and security as well as accommodating future growth. PFCs are a local user fee paid by air travelers and collected by the airlines on behalf to the airport to fund capacity, safety, security, and noise mitigation projects.

Currently, Congress controls PFC levels. The levels should be locally controlled so airports can more easily meet their individual needs. This would allow airport infrastructure projects to be quickly and adequately funded and for construction to begin with absolutely no federal budget impact.