Increased PFC Fees Would Harm Consumers | Citizens Against Government Waste

Increased PFC Fees Would Harm Consumers

The WasteWatcher

As the House of Representatives considers the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Rules Committee correctly agreed to reject a proposed amendment that would have increased costs for consumers.  Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) submitted an amendment to H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, that would have nearly doubled the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) fee from $4.50 per flight segment to $8.50 per flight segment, a 90 percent increase.  Raising the PFC rate is unnecessary because the current rate generates billions in revenue, and Congress has allocated tens of billions of dollars for airports during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

PFC collections are estimated to reach $3.5 billion in 2023 and will likely reach the record-high of $3.6 billion in 2024 if kept at their current level.  According to a December 2014 Government Accountability Office report, raising the PFC fee would generate more revenue for airports but would likely lead to higher costs for consumers, especially those in rural communities, from which most flights have at least one connection to the final destination  Consumers already pay more than enough fees and taxes when booking airline flights and raising the PFC fee would unnecessarily increase the cost of those tickets.         

In addition to the current PFC rate bringing in sufficient revenue, airports are flush with cash after the past three years of increased government spending.  Airports received $20 billion in federal funds from COVID-19 relief bills and $25 billion more to modernize airport infrastructure in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  After spending a record $21.6 billion on capital improvements in 2021, airports across the country still had a total of $20 billion in cash on hand at the end of the year. 

Consumers are already facing high prices for essential everyday items and airline tickets are already too expensive for many across the country.  Members of Congress who are committed to providing economic relief to taxpayers and consumers should oppose any proposal like Rep. Massie’s unnecessary and burdensome amendment to raise the PFC fee. 


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