2016 Airport Revenue Sources

A proposed increase to the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), a tax added to the cost of plane tickets that is transferred directly to airports, would force US passengers to pay up to $2.68 billion in additional airport fees. The proposal would increase the PFC by $4, to $8.50, on the first leg of each flight one way trip.

The tax increase comes as US airports in took in $21.03 billion in operating revenue last year, $3.15 billion in PFC revenue and $3.35 billion in Airport Improvement Program grants. Additionally, US airport facilities have access to $6 billion dollars in federal funding from the FAA’s trust fund and hold $14.2 billion in unrestricted cash and investments.

Passengers flying from smaller airports would pay the highest amount in PFCs because most trips from smaller airports require a connecting flight. Under the fee increase, passengers flying out of smaller airports will pay $13 in PFCs on each flight – $8.50 on the initial leg of the trip and $4.50 for the second flight.

The existing program allows the collection of PFC fees up to $4.50 for every enplaned passenger at commercial airports controlled by public agencies. PFCs are capped at $4.50 per flight segment with a maximum of two PFCs charged on a one-way trip or four PFCs on a round trip, for a maximum of $18 total. The proposed $4 increase on the first leg of a flight will increase the round-trip maximum to $26.

Source: FAA CATS Form 127 (https://cats.airports.faa.gov/Reports/reports.cfm); Incremental $4 PFC hike from A4A analysis of U.S. DOT O&D Data