Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) sent a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership supporting the bipartisan H.R. 3791, Investing in America: Rebuilding America’s Airport Infrastructure Act, which was recently introduced by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).
The bill would eliminate the federal cap on the local airport user fee known as the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), currently set at $4.50, in order to devolve more airport financing responsibility to airports and increase airline competition. CEI was joined by eight others.
The letter makes the following points:
- Federal law unnecessarily increases airport development costs.
- The cap on the PFC denies airports the ability to better manage costs.
- The legislation would save taxpayers money by proportionately reducing the annual authorization by $400 million for a federal taxpayer-supported airport grant program called the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
- An uncapped PFC could increase the number of gates at large hub airports, unlike AIP grants, and economists estimate that gate access limitations at major airports results in less airline competition, which costs Americans $5.72 billion every year in higher airfares.
- That $5.72 billion dwarfs annual nationwide PFC collections of $3.51 billion.
Read the full letter here. Signatories of the letter are:
Competitive Enterprise Institute
James L. Martin, Founder/Chairman
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President
60 Plus Association
Andrew F. Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Harry C. Alford
President & CEO
National Black Chamber of Commerce
Director of Transportation Policy
Transportation & Infrastructure Policy Fellow
R Street Institute
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
*Affiliation listed for identification purposes only.