Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) this week released a report estimating that America’s airports will need $115.4 billion for necessary infrastructure projects over the next five years.
The report “Building The Runway To Economic Growth,” said the projects are needed to improve the passenger experience, increase convenience, enhance security, expand competition and ultimately lower prices for travelers.
ACI-NA once again called on the U.S. Congress to modernize the Passenger Facility Charge — a flexible form of funding for airport infrastructure — to allow airports the opportunity to meet these needs, arguing the change would help airports fund necessary infrastructure updates to make terminals even safer as the industry continues its aggressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The world has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Unfortunately, how airports fund vital infrastructure projects has not,” said Kevin Burke, ACI-NA president and CEO. “The COVID-19 pandemic has hobbled airports financially, and they need continued help to rebound from the steep and sustained drop in passenger traffic. It’s time for Congress to give airports the flexibility they need to reinvest in their facilities.”
ACI-NA noted Congress last raised the maximum PFC level 20 years ago — before 9/11 — from $3.00 to just $4.50. In the two decades since, construction and related costs have risen steadily, meaning that the full value of the PFC — what it’s actually able to purchase — has declined by 40 percent.