In a congress meeting on June 13, organised by the US Senate Democratic Caucus, AAAE Chair Bruce Carter, AAE, encouraged lawmakers to provide airports with the tools that they need to finance critical infrastructure projects and improve aviation safety.
Mr Carter, who is Director of Aviation at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, urged lawmakers to fully fund the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and eliminate the federal cap on local Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs). He said that these steps would improve America’s airport infrastructure, stimulate the economy and support local jobs.
Additionally, the Chair thanked almost 20 Senators for passing the FAA Reauthorization Bill earlier this year, which includes more than $43 billion per year for the AIP and supports more than 100,000 jobs annually. He also stated that President Obama’s modest proposal to raise the PFC cap from $4.50 to $7 would generate a further $90 million annually for airport projects in Illinois.
In a separate meeting with Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin, Mr Carter discussed how Congress could help airports self-finance their development projects through the approval of permanent Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) relief.
It was suggested by Mr Carter that the Senate provision could save airports millions of dollars this year. At San Francisco International Airport alone, around $50 million would be saved over the 30-year life of new bonds that the airport plans to sell this year. A two-year reprieve that was approved by Congress as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is also expected to save airports approximately $1.8 billion.
Mr Carter commented: “A permanent AMT solution would help airports reduce their financing costs over the long-term, allow them to invest in more infrastructure projects and support even more jobs.”