Proposed Federal budget tough on local Spokane Airport travelers

The president’s budget released Monday would raise the “passenger facility charge” to a maximum of $7 from $4.50 per flight to offset $1.1 billion in cuts to airport grants. Airports use the passenger-charge money for FAA-approved safety and expansion projects.

via Obama budget could boost fees on air travelers – Yahoo! News.

As noted here, a flight booked in the spring from Spokane to another West coast city requires 3 hops – or $3.70 x 3 in added fees, x 2 again for both directions for $22.20. Under this proposed fee hike, the fees might increase to $42.00 on this round trip flight.

This fee hike will cost travelers in Spokane more because there are very few non-stop destinations reachable from Spokane. Fortunately, some say it is unlikely that this fee hike will be approved.

Spokane International Airport spends its portion of the fee on airport improvements, which while nice, have not translated into an increase in passengers (or see the data here) or cargo. The red line is the forecast made in 2000 and which was wrong the first year. In 2011 – ten years later! – the airport expects to produce a new forecast. As I always note, the changes in air travel are not likely due to the airport or the airport staff; its a nice airport. Management made plans and expenditures based on a forecast that was inaccurate the day it was made and has failed to update that master plan for ten years – it is fair to criticize past management for that.

Source: Please see links above for the data sources. All data comes from SIA’s own documents.

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