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Sky Harbor requesting raise in passenger fee
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Sky Harbor requesting raise in passenger fee

PHOENIX — Your next airline ticket could cost more if airports like Phoenix Sky Harbor get their way.

Phoenix airport officials are pushing Congress to increase the passenger facility charge. Right now, it’s $4.50 for a one-way domestic flight. Deputy Aviation Director Deborah Ostreicher said the airport would like it raised to $8.50.

“The current rate has been in place since 2000,” she said. “And, with inflation and the cost of projects it really is time to increase the amount we are eligible for.”

Ostreicher said Sky Harbor collects about $80 million annually from the passenger facility charge. The money has helped cover costs associated with the Sky Train and airfield improvements.

“This is the money that helps us pay for major projects that help us keep the airport up to date, safe and secure.”

While airports can use the money, they do not set the rates. Airports must convince Congress to raise the passenger facility charge and it could be a tough sell.

Politicians are already getting an earful from airlines and consumer groups over the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. While lawmakers touted their budget cut spending without raising taxes, it does raise some fees, including the TSA security fee on airline tickets. Starting July 1, the security fee will more than double to $11.20 per round trip domestic flight.

The airline industry opposed that increase and has also spoken against raising the passenger facility charge.