Industry coalition slams plan to divert aviation-security funds to road infrastructure

A coalition representing tourism, travel, airline, airport and consumer interests recently urged House and Senate leaders not to divert $9.2 billion reserved for aviation security to the Highway Trust Fund, a provision currently in a road-infrastructure funding bill in the U.S. Senate.

A letter was sent to the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and to the House Ways and Means Committee, Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), Airlines for America (A4A), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), Travelers United, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the U.S. Travel Association. The letter opposed a revenue-diversion provision that is included in the current version of the highway bill that has been approved by the U.S. Senate.

“Airline passengers should not be used as a piggy bank to pay for highway investments that benefit highway users,” the letter said. “Additionally, using TSA security fees to offset the deficit in the Bipartisan Budget Act was a misguided policy choice that redirected important security funds away from their intended and needed use. To charge travelers more without an increase in service or benefits cannot and should not become a common practice for policy makers.

“We share your goal of reaching a compromise to provide healthy highway funding, but we urge you to ensure that basic principles of fairness are upheld,” the letter said. “We appreciate the funding challenges that face our nation, but the burden to fund all aspects of the federal government should not fall on the shoulders of aviation passengers.”

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