Airline Industry CEOs Come Out Against Increase in Airport Tax

By Anna Breuer on 22 February 2018
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An American Airlines 777 at DFW

An American Airlines 777 at DFW

The CEOs of Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines said Thursday they were vehemently opposed to current efforts to increase the Passenger Facility Charge, commonly referred to as the airport tax.

Their views were made known in a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, which also pointed out that there is nearly $6 billion in unobligated funding in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund that could be utilized for airport infrastructure instead of raising the tax. The letter was released by Airlines for America, the trade association representing major U.S. airlines.

“Airlines are committed to making capital improvements in infrastructure alongside our well-funded airport partners, and we respectfully ask for your commitment to solutions that do not involve unnecessary tax increases on the traveling public,” the letter stated.

The Passenger Facility Charge is a tax added to each ticket, collected at the point of purchase. The proceeds are used to “fund FAA-approved projects that enhance safety, security, or capacity; reduce noise; or increase air carrier competition,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

In 2015, the Obama Administration proposed the nearly 78% increase in the tax from $4.50 to $8.00.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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