Passenger Facility Charges
While current HR 915 and S 1451 legislation has many impacts for airports and airport operations, none of the legislation would effect airports with such a dramatic change as the direct increase in the amount of passenger facility charges an airport is allowed to collect. Currently, Title 49, US Code section 40117, authorizes the Secretary of Transportation (further delegated to the Federal Aviation Administration Administrator) to approve the local imposition of an airport passenger facility charge (PFC) of up to $4.50 per enplaned passenger for use on certain airport projects. The federal legislation allows airports to use PFC funds to meet money match requirements of federal grants for aviation related capital improvement. The revenue is collected by air carriers on behalf of a public agency, and subsequently remitted to the airport. Expenditures of PFC funds must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The PFC regulation was adopted on May 22, 1991, and was substantially amended on May 30, 2000. The regulation is intended to provide public agencies with the flexibility to tailor their PFC programs to their own needs while meeting the requirements of the statute. In addition, it is intended to reduce the administrative burden as much as possible for public agencies and air carriers.
As of September 2009, there are 378 commercial airports collecting PFCs including 97 of the top 100 airports. Of these 378 airports collecting PFC charges, 312 (255 small hub, non-hub, and commercial service airports and 57 medium and large hub airports) are collecting the maximum $4.50 PFC charge. In addition, there are 1,748 applications approved or partially approved with only 3 applications denied; Naples Municipal whose eight year three month collection of $3 per enplanement ended in May 2004, St. Augustine Airport in St. Augustine, FL who was never granted the ability to collect PFCs, and Robert Mueller Municipal whose one year and...
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