Trump's Budget Proposal Could Cost Travelers up to $2 Billion
President Donald Trump revealed his budget proposal Monday, with provisions both to raise Transportation Security Administration fees and to sell off certain federal airports.
The proposal, which included a huge increase in infrastructure spending, called to raise TSA fees for each one-way ticket to $6.60 from $5.60 starting Oct. 1. Trump has previously made the same proposal before, and Congress did not support the idea. The proposal would cost passengers an additional $2 billion annually, according to airline estimates.
Airlines for America, a trade group representing the largest domestic airlines, slammed the proposal, warning of the costs to passengers and to business growth for the airlines.
“Increasing taxes in any form will add to the cost of flying for millions of Americans, curtail job growth and limit the options small and medium communities currently enjoy,” Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said in a statement.
Airports have shown more support for raising fees, saying the hike would be in line with inflation and would also allow them to pursue renovation projects.
“Lifting the outdated federal cap on airport user fees would allow airports to utilize local dollars for investment immediately and to leverage those resources through bonds to further multiply their benefit into the future – 100% consistent with what the president has outlined today," Todd Hauptli, CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives, told USA Today.
The budget proposal also suggested selling off several federal assets, including Washington’s National and Dulles International airports. The effect of those sales on travelers — if the budget proposal passes Congress — is still unclear, as it will depend on whether state or private entities purchase the airports.
Trump's infrastructure plan, which was a large part of his 2016 candidacy, proposes spending $200 billion in investment with the goal of generating $1.5 trillion in investment. The plan has been widely criticized, particularly for the fact that it relies on private companies to invest in public works in a way that many experts have claimed is unlikely to happen.