[Archive Home][Date Prev][Date Next][Index]


"What might 'aviation aficionado' Trump do to modernize airports?"

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What might 'aviation aficionado' Trump do to modernize airports?
By Tamer Abouras
The Washington (DC) Examiner

On Thursday, the upholding of a temporary restraining order against his 
executive action restricting travel from seven terror-stricken countries 
continued to stall President's Trump's early momentum.

While the president's day ended with the declaration that he'll take his case 
to the Supreme Court, it began with a productive meeting of the sort that 
marked the earliest days of his term. Speaking with airline and airport 
executives, some representing Airports Council International - North America 
(ACI-NA), about issues unrelated to his travel ban, Trump "stated four times 
that America must modernize and rebuild our airports," according to Kevin M. 
Burke, president and CEO, ACI-NA.

During a press briefing after the White House meeting, Burke and the airport 
directors in attendance expressed optimism about the president's approach. "We 
greatly appreciate the president's persistent, vocal support for building 
airport infrastructure as a key component of improving the passenger 
experience, rebuilding our nation, growing our economy and creating jobs," 
Burke said. "We had a very productive conversation today that focused on our 
commitment to improving the passenger experience at airports across the United 

While Burke suggested that the president did not directly indicate a desire to 
privatize air traffic control, he did refer to Trump as an "aviation 
aficionado" who asked a lot of important questions during today's meeting, 
while fully embracing efforts to modernize and localize airports, pulling power 
away from the Federal Aviation Administration.

"I see this as a positive development in terms of our arguments for uncapping 
the PFC (Passenger Facility Charge), basically bringing local control to 
decisions made by airports that benefit local areas, unlike today where the FAA 
has a lot of say," Burke said. Burke repeatedly emphasized removing federal 
limits on the local user fee known as the Passenger Facility Charge, stating 
that ACI-NA estimates 2.1 million jobs could be created simply by removing 
these limits.

"We can quickly fund and undertake these much needed infrastructure projects 
with no federal budget impact by giving airports more control of local 
investment decisions," he added.

Fielding a question about Trump's desire to rebuild airports without raising 
fees such as the PFC, Burke responded by saying, "He (Trump) said that he would 
get the money, that he would figure out a way to get the money. We see that as 
a positive - he obviously wants to rebuild airports, but he wasn't very 
specific about where he would get the money."

"We believe in our solution, uncapping the PFC and allowing local airports to 
make local decisions," Burke continued. "He wants it to be affordable, and so 
each airport would be able to use the PFC at whatever level they feel is 
needed. It's not always going to be the same amount for each airport. ... But 
again, in order for an airport to modernize, that fee needs to be uncapped or 
raised. Preferably uncapped, because it really restricts the ability of an 
airport to modernize." Burke also stressed that the fee is only paid by those 
that use the infrastructure and are passengers on these airlines.

It's safe to say the Trump administration has hit a bit of a rough patch in 
recent days, but if this meeting leads to reform and modernization of an 
industry that supports some 10 million jobs in local communities across the 
country and contributes $1.1 trillion in annual economic output, perhaps it 
won't be long before it, and the country, are flying high once again.
 Do you have an opinion about this story?
Share it with other readers in our CAA Discussion Forums

Current CAA news channel:

Fair Use Notice
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you have any queries regarding this issue, please Email us at stepheni@cwnet.com