WASHINGTON, September 28, 2018 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry association representing the leading U.S. airlines, today applauded U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao’s announcement of $205 million in supplemental funding for airport infrastructure grants to 37 airports, many of which are in rural locations, across 34 states.
“We applaud Secretary Chao’s commitment to improving our nation’s airport infrastructure without adding to the tax burden currently shouldered by every American who flies,” said A4A Senior Vice President, Legislative & Regulatory Policy Sharon Pinkerton. “Today’s travelers are highly price-sensitive, and funding projects that enhance the passenger experience without asking customers to pay even more in taxes is a win for airports, local economies and everyone who takes to the skies.”
Today’s news comes on the heels of $586 million in airport infrastructure grant funding announced by Secretary Chao at A4A’s sixth annual Commercial Aviation Industry Summit. This influx of funding, from the $1 billion airports received in the omnibus spending bill and the $3.35 billion Congress authorized in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding, underscores the fact that the nation’s airports are a significant part of the country’s infrastructure.
Like roads and bridges, airports are an important part of the national infrastructure, which is why they enjoy a wide variety of funding sources that have driven record revenues:
- Airline-airport collaboration has yielded more than $130 billion in capital improvement projects at the nation’s 30 largest airports, with robust development occurring at small and medium airports as well.
- Airports have access to $14.2 billion in unrestricted cash reserves and an uncommitted balance of $6 billion in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.
- Other sources like the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), which generated a record $3.3 billion in revenue in 2017.
“Airlines are committed to providing our passengers with the best possible travel experience, and that begins and ends at airports,” continued Pinkerton. “The airline industry and our airport partners have a long history of working together to complete necessary improvement projects without the government having to impose unwarranted tax hikes on passengers.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.4 million passengers and more than 58,000 tons of cargo each day. Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.
A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor, Congress, the Administration and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.