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PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS SET AN
AMBITIOUS GOAL TO BRING IN 100
MILLION INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS TO
THE UNITED STATES BY 2021. CAN OUR
INFRASTRUCTURE HANDLE THIS INFLOW?
The president issued an executive order charging several federal agencies to help increase travel
to and within the United States by 2021. It aims to
generate an additional $92.5 billion in spending in
the country on everything from car rentals and hotels to
restaurants. However, it also means that we’ll see a total
of 850,000 flights, adding severe stress to our current
aviation infrastructure. Capacity constraints at our major
international gateway airports could spread to 27 airports
and 15 metropolitan regions nationwide by 2025.
If we don’t work swiftly to expand our infrastructure,
we risk not being able to accommodate nearly 14 million of
these new international travelers arriving by air, resulting
in a loss of $59.6 billion in traveler spending, 477,000 American jobs and $7.1 billion in tax revenue. This impacts all of
us and that’s why it’s an American economy issue—not an
airport or airline issue.
For this reason, U.S. Travel supports a modest increase
in the Passenger Facility Charge—a fee that airports use to
fund critical infrastructure projects. A recent U.S. Travel
survey found that air travelers are willing to pay $4 more to
improve their flying experience, as long as those funds go
toward airport improvement projects that would enable airports to accommodate more airlines, modernize facilities or
reduce delays in and around the airport.