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May 11, 2007 - Coalition letter - Airport Improvement Program and reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration

May 11, 2007

The Honorable Daniel Inouye                             The Honorable Ted Stevens
Chairman, Senate Committee on Commerce,     Co-Chairman, Senate Committee on
Science and Transportation                               Commerce, Science and Transportation
722 Hart Senate Office Building                         522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510                                     Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Inouye and Co-Chairman Stevens:

As supporters of the aviation and travel industry, we urge you to take action now to
reduce passenger delays and inconvenience and provide airports the financing tools
necessary to build for critical safety, security and capacity projects, including new
runways, taxiways and terminals to meet airline passenger needs. The Passenger Facility
Charge (PFC) and Airport Improvement Program (AIP) are critical sources of funding for
airport modernization and need to be increased in legislation now being considered by the
Committee to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). We also urge you
to index the PFC ceiling for inflation.

As you know, FAA now projects that there will be more than 1 billion domestic airline
travelers by 2015. Airports need to plan now to invest in modern, secure, comfortable and
environmentally compliant facilities for air travelers. A recent survey, conducted by
Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), supports FAA’s passenger
projections and the need for airport investment. The exhaustive survey of U.S. airports
shows that total airport capital development costs are approximately $17.5 billion per
year from 2007 through 2011, representing a 19.5% increase in annual capital needs from
a similar survey conducted in 2005 for the period 2005-2009. 

Since 1990, PFC’s have been the cornerstone of airport capital programs, benefiting large
and small airports alike. Yet, the PFC ceiling has not been adjusted for inflation since
2000, resulting in a drastic loss in value. In fact, data shows that due to ravages of
construction cost inflation, today’s $4.50 PFC is only worth $2.86. In order to recapture
this lost value, the PFC ceiling should be increased and indexed for inflation. The
additional PFC funding will allow airports to begin new construction projects to
accommodate additional airline service, providing more competition and lower fares for
your constituents. In addition these projects will bring new jobs to the communities
where airports are located.

Thank you for your leadership on aviation issues and your service to our country. We
look forward to working with you throughout the FAA Reauthorization process to ensure
that our nation’s aviation system is safe, secure, and efficient for users.

Greg Principato                                                     Donald J. Borut
President                                                              Executive Director
Airports Council International-North America           National League of Cities

Charles Barclay, A.A.E.                                          Larry Naake
President                                                              Executive Director
American Association of Airport Executives             National Association of Counties

Henry M. Ogrodzinski                                             Paula P. Hochstetler
President and CEO                                                 President
National Association of State Aviation Officials        Airport Consultants Council

James K. Coyne                                                     Stephen E. Sandherr
President                                                              Chief Executive Officer
National Air Transportation Association                   Associated General Contractors 
                                                                             of America

John Horsley                                                          Patrick Natale, PE, CAE, FASCE
Executive Director                                                  Executive Director
American Association of State Highway and             American Society of Civil
Transportation Officials                                            Engineers

T. Peter Ruane                                                       David A. Raymond
President and CEO                                                  President
American Road & Transportation                              American Council of
Builders Association                                                Engineering Companies

Jennifer Joy Wilson
President and CEO
National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association

cc: The Honorable James Oberstar
cc: The Honorable John Mica