In a recent letter to both the Senate and House, SMACNA expressed its endorsement for language supporting uncapping the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) and increasing funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) be included in any upcoming FAA reauthorization legislation.
Eliminating the federally imposed cap on the PFC while increasing AIP funding would allow our airports to address aging infrastructure needs and create substantial job opportunities. According to the most recent infrastructure needs survey conducted by Airports Council International – North America, airports of all sizes face $100 billion in infrastructure improvements over the next five years. Allowing for an uncapped PFC, set by individual airports in response to their infrastructure needs and the market, would allow for a modernized funding stream to meet the growing infrastructure demands of airports nationally.
The letter emphasized that SMACNA contracting corporations rely on airport development, construction and maintenance projects for a significant portion of work; America's airports - as powerful economic engines, generating more than $1.1 trillion in annual activity and supporting over 10 million jobs - depend on industries such as ours to boost employment in legislators' states.
Passenger traffic through U.S. airports last year was at an all-time high – with greater growth forecast in the years ahead. Unfortunately, the nation's too-often-antiquated aviation infrastructure cannot keep pace with this overwhelming demand – and airports remain overcrowded and cramped, generally far behind our competitors in other countries.
Action to address America’s aging aviation infrastructure is long overdue and simply complaining about our infrastructure needs is not enough. Airports need an infusion of resources to be able to make new investments meeting their capacity demands of today and into the future. Modernizing our nation's airport infrastructure will provide passengers and shippers with the safe, secure, and efficient facilities they expect and deserve.
With total passenger numbers expected to hit one billion by 2029, action on airport infrastructure, PFC reform are long overdue. To meet the capacity demands of the future with safe, secure, efficient, and modern facilities that passengers and cargo shippers expect, airports need to make the investments to maintain and modernize our nation's airport related infrastructure. Although the PFC reform is a critical element to meet vital airport project financing needs, a comprehensive federal airport infrastructure program must pass this year before the long list of airport investments can be adequately addressed.
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