Proposed airport fee could support Nebraska infrastructure

Proposed airport fee could support Nebraska infrastructure

A topic being discussed in Congress could potentially mean you could soon be paying more for airfare. Every time we purchase flights, there's a current $4.50 passenger facility charge (PFC). In Congress right now, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine is pushing for a $4 increase to this tax.

"From Omaha all the way out to Scottsbluff, all airports charge a passenger facility charge or a PFC,” Said Mike Olson, Central Nebraska Regional Airport’s executive director.

It's a fee you might have never noticed; it's very much blended with the others.

"Well you have those normal federal taxes, and like I said security tax that helps fund the TSA and then the airport facility charges as well," Olson said.

But-with these PFC fees many people are left wondering where is the money going.

"That money goes back to the airport to make improvements to the airports," Olson said.

With the recent renovation of the Central Nebraska Regional Airport, many people are also thinking about what’s next?

"We're about to purchase some snow equipment to help keep the runways clear when it's snowing. We have a few of those things and we have a security project coming up," Olson said.

While the topic of adding this extra fee is still being discussed in Congress, Olson said if this were to pass, airports would then have the choice to implement this increase.

Olson said he’s in favor of this increase and would definitely implement this at Grand Island's airport.

"This goes well with infrastructure improvements across the country that President Trump is pushing for. It makes logical sense that users of the airports pay for that," Olson said.

Nebraskans who spoke with NTV News said the increase would be reasonable.

"I'm for it if it goes for good purposes for here like the Grand Island airport. It'd be nice to help the community,” Said Central Nebraska traveler Michaela Rodriguez.

“I know we seem like we are tax burdened but how else do we get what we need?” said Central Nebraska traveler Darlene Folkerts.

Olson said money stays in Nebraska.

Although this tax might be pricy for some, Olson says this existing $4.50 fee has not gone up since first implemented in the early 2000s. He said the price change is necessary to make up for inflation.

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