Dear Chairman Pete Sessions, Ranking Member Jim McGovern:
We write today to express our strong support of the inclusion of amendment 53 offered by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), which would remove the federally imposed cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), as an amendment to H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
We believe that market forces—not the federal government—should be what drives a 21st century aviation policy in this country and strongly support policies that reflect this free market belief.
If we are ever going to move to a truly free market aviation system in this country, Congress must remove the federal yoke from airport financing. We need to move to a system where airports are fully self-sufficient, instead of reliant on federal tax dollars. We need a system that will allow decisions to be made at the local level and a system where the users of airports bear the responsibility of paying for that use—not taxpayers. In order to do so, the Congress should remove the federally imposed cap on the PFC.
The responsibility for financing infrastructure needs at airports should be borne by the airports and the travelers who use and directly benefit from those facilities. By removing the federally imposed cap on the PFC, airports can become self-sufficient and break their addiction to federal taxpayer dollars.
This amendment not only allows airports to meet the $100 billion in infrastructure needs they are now facing, it does so without a single penny of new federal dollars.
America’s airports are powerful economic engines, generating more than $1.1 trillion in annual activity and supporting more than 9.6 million jobs. However, airports are facing $100 billion in unmet needs in infrastructure improvements to update aging facilities, relieve delays and congestion, promote safety and security, enhance the passenger experience, as well as spur airline competition to provide consumers with more choices and affordable options. Washington should get out of the way and allow airports to set a PFC that is in line with their local needs and one that reflects market realities.
We urge you to help us in our efforts to allow market forces to guide our aviation policy and want to voice our strong support of amendment 53’s inclusion in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Taxpayers Protection Alliance