Sustainable Air(port) Conditioning
U.S. airports serve more than two million passengers every day. The aviation industry is marked by technologically advanced and economically efficient aircraft, however, the associated infrastructure of airports and air traffic control systems is not keeping up. Congestion at airports is growing; it is expected that 24 of the top 30 major airports may soon experience “Thanksgiving-peak traffic volume” at least one day every week. With a federally mandated cap on how much airports can charge passengers for facility expansion and renovation, airports struggle to keep up with investment needs, creating a $42 billion funding gap between 2016 and 2025.
New, technologically advanced and fuel efficient aircraft are being deployed regularly, however, that tells only half the story of the aviation industry. In the other half, progress at the nation’s airports and in the air traffic control system is slow, as investment has consistently lagged in the past 18 years, unable to keep up with demands of increased traffic and new technologies.Conditions & Capacity
Generally, there are four sources of funding used to finance airport development: airport cash flow; revenue and general obligation bonds; federal/state/local grants, including the Airport Improvement Program (AIP); and Passenger Facilities Charges (PFCs). Under the 2012 FAA reauthorization, AIP received $13.4 billion over four years or approximately $3.35 billion annually funded primarily through airline ticket taxes. The PFC Program allows the collection of PFC fees – federally capped at no more than $4.50 – for every enplaned passenger at commercial airports.Funding & Future Need
Airport security and the safety of the traveling public is an ongoing challenge for the nation’s aviation enterprise. The needs of additional security to address the threats posed to airports and aircraft have had an impact on the operation of the nation’s aviation system. The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) spent $5.6 billion on aviation security in 2015; this does not include the financial burden on airports to accommodate security requirements.Public Safety & Resilience