KCI and Other Airports Want Politics and Funding Split

The aviation department director who is planning a $1.2 billion remake of Kansas City International Airport wants Congress to raise a per-ticket fee to pay for airport improvements, from $4.50 to $7 or $8, a move that lawmakers and airlines oppose. For three decades, the federal Airport Improvement Program has helped airports build new runways, make safety improvements and pay for planning and environmental studies, funded by taxes on airline tickets and aviation fuel. But Washington’s erratic approach to budgeting has tested airports’ traditional dependency on federal funds, and some airport directors in Kansas City and elsewhere have had enough. The Passenger Facility Charge has lost value to inflation since Congress capped it at $4.50 in 2000, according to the Airports Council International-North America, an industry group. Groups that represent airports want the next Federal Aviation Administration bill to give airports the freedom to collect higher passenger fees and spend the money how they see fit.

Read more in the Kansas City Star


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