Phoenix Sky Harbor among airports asking Congress to increase Passenger Facility Charge

PHOENIX - Airports across the country are asking Congress to increase a fee that's already tacked on to passenger fares.

Passengers currently pay $4.50 for the Passenger Facility Charge per one-way ticket, according to the FAA website.

This fee helps commercial airports fund FAA-approved projects regarding safety, security, capacity and noise reduction, according to the website.

Airports, including Phoenix Sky Harbor International, want to nearly double that fee to $8.50.

"No local tax dollars go to support the airport. It's all 100 percent user-based and that's why we're asking for this additional funding," said Deborah Ostreicher, Deputy Aviation Director for Phoenix Sky Harbor.

The fee has not been increased since 2000, said Ostreicher.

Afif Cherif is attending a conference in Phoenix, it's his first time to the Valley, and he travels a lot for business. He said airfare fares are already expensive and he doesn't want to pay more than he has to.

"Whenever you start seeing the added expenses on top of whatever they're charging, it starts getting frustrating and annoying," he said.

Others said they wouldn't notice the fee increase, but would expect to see quick improvements at the airports.

"Am I getting twice as much service since I'm paying twice as much money?" said Cherif.

Officials say there is no official vote scheduled for some time, and the $4.50 fee is in place until at least fiscal year 2015

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