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US airports will need $99.9bn in between 2017 and 2021, leading to calls for local user fees to be be revised. Karen E Thuermer reports.

A report by Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) has found that US airports will need $99.9bn for infrastructure between 2017 and 2021 to accommodate growth in passenger and cargo activity, renovate existing facilities and support aircraft innovation.

Passenger and cargo growth account for 63% of this figure, while the remainder is attributed to continuous maintenance of existing airport facilities. 

The $99.9bn figure is 32% higher than ACI-NA’s 2015 estimate. “America’s airports have significant infrastructure needs that must be addressed to remain competitive in the global aviation system and support our economy,” said ACI-NA president and CEO Kevin M Burke.

Consequently, ACI-NA has suggested the government eliminates the outdated federal cap on the local user fee known as the passenger facility charge (PFC). This would restore the PFC’s lost purchasing power and enable airports to set their own levels based on locally determined needs, ACI-NA said.

“Local user fees are the most affordable and most responsible method for modernising our airport infrastructure,” said Mr Burke. “By giving airports the ability to meet their local infrastructure needs without relying on additional federal funding, airports will be well positioned to maintain their leadership in the global aviation system.”

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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