A bill that would increase the cap on the passenger facility
charge (PFC) won unanimous passage from the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
The PFC is a fee that airports assess passengers for capital improvements.
The FY2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development,
and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (THUD) calls for $16.97 billion in
total budgetary resources for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), $563
million above the FY2017 enacted level.
Travel industry lobbyists are especially pleased that it
would lift the PFC's present cap of $4.50 per flight leg to $8.50 for the first
segment of any one-way trip and $4.50 for subsequent segments. Airports assess
the fee at their own discretion and must use the funding for infrastructure
THUD would also increase funding for federal Airport
Improvement Program grants from $3.35 billion this year to $3.6 billion next
U.S. Travel Association president Roger Dow praised the bill.
"Improving airport infrastructure was a core campaign
promise for the president, and seeing this measure across the finish line would
represent a major legislative achievement," he said.