Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) has welcomed the introduction of a new bill, titled ‘Investing in America: Rebuilding America's Airport Infrastructure Act’, from representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Thomas Massie (R-KY).
The new legislation seeks to remove the federally imposed limit on the passenger facility charge (PFC) user fee, which is expected to give airports more authority when making infrastructure investment decisions.
ACI-NA president and CEO Kevin M. Burke said: “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.
“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.”
Introduced in 1990, the PFC has funded FAA-approved projects that aim to improve capacity, safety and security at airports.
According to ACI-NA, US airports generate more than $1.1tn in economic output, which is around 7% of the country’s GDP.
Overall, the airports employ around 1.2 million people and indirectly support more than 9.6 million jobs across the US.
The airports welcomed more than 800 million passengers last year. The number of passengers is expected to reach one billion by 2029.
ACI-NA claimed the airports need to maintain and upgrade their infrastructure in order to provide safe, effective and modern facilities to passengers and cargo shippers.
It also argued that PFC levels should be locally controlled as this would allow airports to fund infrastructure projects quickly and adequately.