It’s time to modernize America’s air travel infrastructure and expand air service.

Quick Facts

In the next decade, air travel could grow to 927 million passengers, which could add $224 billion in annual U.S. travel spending and support 750,000 new American jobs. However, America’s crumbling aviation infrastructure and limited air service options threaten this future growth. 

Investment in basic airport infrastructure has simply not kept up with demand for air travel, nor does it currently compare with our international competitors’ investment in their countries’ airports. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave American airport infrastructure a D rating in 2013. Additionally, America's aviation infrastructure ranks 9th in the world with 1 in 5 flights cancelled or delayed and 75 percent of routes are domintated by one airline having more than 50 percent of the market share. 

A modern air system can best be achieved by pro-connectivity, pro-growth and pro-traveler policy. This begins with fundamentally shifting the system’s financing to a user fee-based model—adjusting the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) cap and reducing airline ticket taxes—an approach that will increase local control over infrastructure improvements, help increase air service and enhance the air passenger experience. 

 

Recommendations

Modernize airport infrastructure

Local airports need the authority to increase passenger facility charges to provide more funding for new airport improvements. The 30 largest hub airports would then be able to forego $1.5 billion in federal grants over 10 years.

Expand air service

Protecting existing Open Skies agreements will eliminate government control over airline routing, flight frequency and pricing and continue to increase connectivity that encourages travel. This lowers fares for travelers and provides access to more flights.

Quick Facts

  • 16

    years

    Since Congress authorized an increase in the passenger facility charge (PFC).
    The PFC is a key funding source to help airports modernize. Without funding to modernize, U.S. airports will have lowered ability to provide a quality air travel experience and be less competitive with airports in other parts of the world.
  • 1 in 5

    Flights delayed or cancelled in 2014.
    Flight delays have reached their highest levels since 2008, and flight cancellations have reached their highest level since 2000.
  • 75

    %

    U.S. airline routes dominated by 1 carrier with more than 50% market share.
    Airline competition is stagnant, driving up airfares and pricing some people out of the market.

Research, News and Commentary on Aviation Infrastructure

Travel’s Role in Trump’s First 100 Days—And in America’s Future

January 19, 2017

Travel played a pivotal part in many of 2016’s biggest stories. Here’s why travel is so important to our country’s future—and how U.S. Travel will make that known in the early days of the new administration.

Read More

U.S. Travel Ready for 2017

January 06, 2017

The new year is a reminder that our work to demonstrate travel’s value is never done. With newly elected officials entering office nationwide, it's as important as ever to educate lawmakers on travel’s contributions to American jobs, our economy, communities and personal lives.

View the Video

Happy Holidays from U.S. Travel

December 16, 2016

With final approval given for Norwegian Air International to expand service to the United States and with the passage of the National Park Centennial Act, the travel industry is ending 2016 on a bright note.

View the Video

Travel Leaders Ecstatic Over Norwegian Air Decision

December 02, 2016

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the Obama administration's long-awaited decision to allow flights by low-cost carrier Norwegian Air...

Read More

Championing Travel for 75 Years

November 18, 2016

Seventy-five years ago, this association was founded to spur travel to and within the U.S., and has served as a unifying voice ever since.

View the Video

U.S. Travel Research Round-Up: Thanksgiving Travel Forecasts, Plus Tapering International Interest Pre-Election

November 18, 2016

Here’s a sampling of November 2016’s most compelling findings from the U.S. Travel research team.

Read More
1
2
3
4
5
6