Groups revive debate over passenger fees for airport upgrades

The Hill discusses the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) with Marc Scribner. 

But funding offsets for infrastructure upgrades have long remained elusive. The PFC increase has been billed as one pro-market solution that avoids adding to the deficit or increasing the burden on tax-payers, while also making airports more self-sufficient.

“These are fair and efficient ways to go about financing infrastructure,” Marc Scribner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said during a Capitol Hill panel discussion on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, you do have a number of commercial interests that oppose these various fees and support the taxpayer subsidized status quo.”

The proposal to increase the fees paid by passengers for airport projects has faced strong pushback from the airline industry, which argues that passengers are already charged enough fees by the government when they purchase tickets and have labeled the PFC increase an “airport tax.”

Scribner pointed out that the PFC is a user fee, which can only be used for a very narrow set of airport projects.

“User fees can only be imposed on service beneficiaries,” he said. “The primary beneficiaries of airports are the passengers who use them.”

Read the full article at The Hill