The letters are part of a push for support of construction funding going into airports. More specifically, they have asked for adjustments of the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) on originating passengers and an increase of around $250 million in funds to the Airport Improvement Program. The latter would see its budget increase to $3.6 billion to be used for planning and development of public-use airports.
“Congress last adjusted the PFC cap to $4.50 in 2000, but with inflation and a rise in construction costs its purchasing power has eroded by over 50 percent in the past 17 years,” one of the letters said. “As a result, many airports–even those with sterling credit ratings–have reached their debt capacity and either cannot finance new projects or have had to plan and construct projects over a longer timeframe, increasing the costs and delaying the benefits for passengers.
The letters were dispatched prior to the ongoing August recess and stated that aviation infrastructure funding is long overdue. They state that revenue increases will support such infrastructure critical projects for U.S. airports.
The groups responsible for the letters have banded together under two names: the Beyond the Runway coalition and the Highway Materials Group. The former is a group led by the Airports Council International, while the latter was co-founded by the ACPA in 2010.