Travel Trump budget ignores airport pleas on fees

20:25  12 february  2018
20:25  12 february  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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WASHINGTON – President Trump ignored airport pleas again Monday in his budget blueprint to raise a federal cap on fees to fund construction projects. Airlines strongly oppose raising the fees that make tickets more expensive and are set without their input.

WASHINGTON – President Trump ignored airport pleas again Monday in his budget blueprint to raise a federal cap on fees to fund construction projects. Airlines strongly oppose raising the fees that make tickets more expensive and are set without their input.

A Port Authority of New York and New Jersey customer care representative directs traffic Aug. 24, 2016, during a $4 billion renovation project at LaGuardia Airport in New York.© Kathy Willens, AP A Port Authority of New York and New Jersey customer care representative directs traffic Aug. 24, 2016, during a $4 billion renovation project at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

WASHINGTON – President Trump ignored airport pleas again Monday in his budget blueprint to raise a federal cap on fees to fund construction projects.

Airlines strongly oppose raising the fees that make tickets more expensive and are set without their input.

But Congress continues to debate the issue as part of spending legislation for the current fiscal year, which must still be resolved.

The fees called Passenger Facility Charges (PFC) are set by the local boards that govern airports, to pay for projects that Federal Aviation Administration grants don’t cover, such as expanding terminals. The fees generate billions for projects nationwide.

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Trump budget ignores airport   pleas on fees . USATODAY | 12th Feb 2018.

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Congress set a federal cap of $4.50 per ticket in 2000. Airports contend the cap should be lifted to $8.50, just to keep pace with inflation.

“With constrained federal resources, including a (Passenger Facility Charge) increase as part of a final infrastructure package should be a no-brainer," Todd Hauptli, CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives, said after Trump’s State of the Union speech.

But airlines contend they deserve a bigger voice in how the multi-billion-dollar projects are chosen. For example, Delta Air Lines executives described plans last month for $12 billion in projects at airports in Atlanta, New York’s LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

In October, an airline survey of 1,992 registered voters found more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents opposed raising the fee cap. Morning Consult conducted the survey with a 2% margin of error on behalf of Airlines for America, a trade group representing most of the largest carriers.

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Trump budget ignores airport pleas on feesPresident Trump doesn't propose to raise the cap on fees airports want to pay for construction. Airlines are opposed, arguing it would raise ticket prices. Today in the Sky.

Airports . Trump Budget Ignores Airport Pleas on Fees . Airlines. FL: Delayed American Airlines Flight Leaves Passengers Angry, Sleeping on Airport Floor. Airports . NY: Port Authority to Authorize Stewart Airport Expansion, Name Change Thursday.

The government provides $3.35 billion per year in FAA construction grants for projects such as runways and lighting, which airports would also like to increase.

Airlines note that the Airport and Airway Trust Fund has $6 billion in reserves that could be spent on projects.

A regulatory overhaul Trump proposed, with a goal of issuing federal permits within two years, will make it easier for airport projects to get financed and approved, according to senior administration officials.

But airports have identified $100 billion in projects they could pursue in the next five years, half of which have no identified funding, according to the trade group Airports Council International-North America.

Consumer advocates have come down on both sides of the issue. Some like the idea of enhancements to aging terminals or greater competition among airlines that more gates would promise.

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Trump Budget Ignores Airport Pleas on Fees . Airlines. FL: Delayed American Airlines Flight Leaves Passengers Angry, Sleeping on Airport Floor. Airports . NY: Port Authority to Authorize Stewart Airport Expansion, Name Change Thursday.

Trump budget ignores airport pleas on fees . Airlines, airports at odds over fee hike before Congress. Each aspect of the debate, which had been roiling for years, was hotly contested.

But others dislike adding a larger fee onto tickets. Airlines collected a combined nearly $4.2 billion for checked bags in 2016, and $2.9 billion for changed or canceled flights.

Congress is still debating how much to spend for the year that started Oct. 1. The latest extension to make decisions is March 23.

A key Senate panel agreed to raise the fees $4 for the first leg of each flight, as part of the spending package. Airlines estimated that would add $2.2 billion a year to ticket prices.

But the House hasn’t taken a similar position, so the decision will be revealed whenever the final spending package is approved.

“Airports will continue to pursue legislation that will not only provide meaningful regulatory relief but also a clear investment mechanism to meet the $100 billion in well-documented airport infrastructure needs across the country," said Kevin Burke, CEO of Airports Council International-North America.

Atlanta airport is the world's busiest .
With 104 million passengers in 2017, Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, was the world's busiest airport in 2017 according to a report from the Airports Council International (ACI). The ACI's ranking of the world's busiest airports is based on total passenger traffic in 2017. China's Beijing airport takes second place, with 96 million passengers, and Dubai airport in the UAE comes third, with 88 million passengers. Tokyo's Haneda The ACI's ranking of the world's busiest airports is based on total passenger traffic in 2017. China's Beijing airport takes second place, with 96 million passengers, and Dubai airport in the UAE comes third, with 88 million passengers.

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