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This week the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Chaired by Representative Bill Shuster (R-Penn.), released their version of a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) applauds Chairman Shuster and the Committee for not including provisions that would increase or uncap the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC).   

The PFC program allows for the collection of PFC fees for enplaned passengers at commercial airports controlled by public agencies. Airports use revenue generated from PFC fees to fund airport improvement projects that are approved by the FAA.

Currently the PFC is capped at $4.50 and maintaining the PFC at this level is a benefit to the traveling public. Given the current levels of revenue and PFC collections at airports, it is entirely possible for airports to continue making improvements without increasing the cost of flying for passengers.

According to FAA reports, U.S. airports brought in a record $27 billion in 2015 alone including record highs of $10.7 billion from airline rents and fees and $9.1 billion from non-airline revenues such as retail and food and beverage.

For 2016 PFC collections hit a new record high of over $3.1 billion according to FAA data, averaging roughly $260 million a month. FAA projections for 2017 show an additional increase of over $3.36 billion in estimated PFC collections. It is also the case that the Airport and Airway Trust Fund has reached its highest levels since 2001 with an uncommitted balance of over $6 billion. 

Government taxes and fees already overburden airline passengers – taxes make up over 20% of the cost of an average domestic flight. Given the record levels of airport revenue, billions in cash on hand, and PFC collections, there is simply no need to subject the traveling public to increased costs.

While Americans for Tax Reform looks forward to working with lawmakers on other provisions of the FAA reauthorization bill, the Committee’s work to ensure that wholly unnecessary increases to the PFC are not included in the reauthorization bill is a positive step to benefit the traveling public. 


Photo credit: Jeff Slinker