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Updating passenger facility fee will help JIA keep pace with growth
July 29, 2019
As one of the fastest-growing airports in North America for 2018, Jacksonville International Airport is already having another banner year.
This March, 664,479 passengers traveled through JAX, more than any other month in the airport’s half-century of operations.
In April, we announced that our airport system contributed a record $6 billion to our local economy.
In June, we marked 21 months of consecutive growth.
We also look forward to unveiling Concourse B, which will add six new gates to our terminal, by the end of 2022.
The most publicly tangible sign of our remarkable growth is the capacity closures which have affected every parking option available at JAX. Long-awaited renovations and repairs on our parking facilities, combined with welcoming a record volume of passengers, means during this off-peak season, we have had to open new economy lots, because even our most expensive parking options are frequently at capacity.
We are working hard to accommodate increased passenger volume and demands on our amenities, but we face inevitable growing pains.
Many Northeast Florida residents may not know that the Jacksonville Aviation Authority is a self-supporting agency. It does not receive any revenues from the city’s general fund. We rely largely on revenue from the Passenger Facility Charge to build and maintain infrastructure that increases capacity, improves safety and creates competition among carriers to benefit our customers.
The Passenger Facility Charge program was created by Congress in 1990 as a small user fee attached to airline tickets that goes directly to improving the airport you are traveling from to make your flying experience safer and more efficient.
In 2000, Congress increased the fee to $4.50, and it has remained unchanged in spite of its reduced buying power over the past two decades. If the fee kept up with inflation, that $4.50 would be worth $6.83 today.
While passenger traffic has increased more than 35 percent over that period, we have lost 51 percent of our buying power with the PFC.
by Mark VanLoh
Editorial in jacksonville.com