Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, supported calls for efficiency improvements within the TSA, while strongly urging House Republicans not to punish passengers, shippers and airlines by doubling the TSA passenger security tax in their budget proposal.
“Air travel today is already taxed at a federal rate higher than those for alcohol and tobacco, products that are taxed to discourage their use. It’s illogical that the House Republican budget would single out the airline industry for a tax hike that Congress has rejected on five previous occasions – it’s a lose-lose for passengers, airlines and the economy,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “As partners with the TSA, we are fully supportive of risk-based measures and agree greater efficiencies can be achieved while improving safety and the customer experience. A4A commends Chairman Ryan and his Republican colleagues for recognizing that TSA’s cost efficiency goals can be met while maintaining the highest passenger and baggage screening standards – which is a key component in ensuring aviation security around the world.”
Calio noted that TSA’s budget has increased by 18 percent since 2007, yet passenger traffic has decreased over that time. Language included in the House Republican budget proposal notes this as well, but despite that, still suggests increasing TSA taxes from $2.50 to $5 per flight, costing airline passengers more than $730 million annually in addition to the $2.3 billion already paid today. A4A believes full implementation of programs that take a risk-based approach to security, such as TSA PreCheck for passengers and Known Crewmember for pilots and flight attendants will enhance security and screening efficiency and are a more appropriate way to help drive down TSA operating costs.