A4A Urges Congress to Reject Increasing Airport Taxes

WASHINGTON, January 29, 2020 – Airlines for America (A4A) today urged Congress to focus on our nation’s real infrastructure needs – like crumbling roads and deteriorating bridges – rather than digging deeper into the pockets of American travelers to pad the coffers of well-funded airports.

“We support smart investment in infrastructure to addresses our nation’s real needs,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Airports simply don’t need more money from taxpayers, and travelers don’t want to pay more taxes. Time and time again, airport directors are unable to name a single improvement project that can’t be completed due to a lack of funding. The truth is that the Passenger Facility Charge is a tax on hardworking families which airports simply do not need. With billions of dollars already pouring into our nation’s airports, fleecing travelers with unnecessary taxes is a bad idea that won’t fly.”

Across the country, airport construction is booming. More than $200 billion has been invested in runway, terminal and cargo facility expansions and renovations as well as other amenities – all without a tax hike.

In fact, airports are in record-setting financial condition:

  • $3.6 billion: PFC taxes collected from air travelers in 2018 – an all-time high
  • $7 billion: The unobligated balance currently sitting in the Airport Trust Fund. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the Airport Trust Fund will hold $30 billion in surplus funds by 2030.
  • $16 billion: The amount of unrestricted cash and investments airports are currently sitting on
  • $3.18 billion: The amount of airport improvement grants distributed by the Department of Transportation last Fall

In addition, airports are diverting billions of dollars already collected from travelers – the same ones who pay taxes – to pay for pet projects instead of putting that money toward infrastructure needs.

Travelers already paid $6.9 billion in airport taxes last year. An increase in airport taxes is not only unnecessary, it is also overwhelmingly unpopular among voters. Eighty percent of participants in a recent poll oppose increasing the cost of flying and feel that their money is being diverted from our true infrastructure needs.


Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.

A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website airlines.org and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at airlines.org/blog.

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