Policy Brief : Modernizing the Passenger Facility Charge to Improve Aviation

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the transportation sector hard and perhaps the aviation industry hardest. At its worst in April 2020, U.S. air passenger transportation declined by 96% year-over-year. While air travel has rebounded since that nadir, full recovery is expected to take years, particularly for international and business travel. The passenger air transportation market at the end of the decade is likely to look very different than what had been projected prior to the pandemic.

Like all segments of the aviation market, airports will need to adjust to this new normal. Both airlines and airports received tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts in the United States and returning the aviation industry to self-sufficiency is the only fiscally sustainable path forward.

To that end, giving airports maximum operational and financing flexibility to adjust to emerging conditions is critical to minimizing the costs and disruptions associated with aviation recovery. One important way that Congress can facilitate this flexibility at no cost to the Treasury is by modernizing the airport passenger facility charge.

Read more: Reason Foundation