Bag Fees Reach New High as Airlines Continue to Oppose Modest PFC Update

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With the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today reporting more than $3.5 billion in baggage and reservation change fees flowing to airlines in the first half of 2016, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) once again questioned the continued opposition of U.S. airlines to updating an optional local airport user fee known as the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) that finances the construction of terminal projects, new runways and other airport improvements.

“The autumn leaves may be starting to fall, but the astounding bag fee collections from the airline industry continue to defy gravity,” AAAE President and CEO Todd Hauptli said today. “What defies not only gravity, but also logic, is their increasing addiction to bag fees and ancillary revenues (the primary purpose of which seems to be to support their ever-soaring profits) while continuing to vigorously oppose a modest increase in the airport Passenger Facility Charge program (the primary purpose of which is to build and improve facilities, promote competition and enhance the experience of the traveling public). AAAE renews its call on Congress to see past the self-serving airline rhetoric and act in the public interest by modernizing the PFC as soon as possible.”

Federal Aviation Administration Dedicates New Tucson Control Tower

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta today joined federal and local officials in dedicating the new, environmentally friendly air traffic control tower at Tucson International Airport.

The new tower is 252 feet tall – about double the height of the old tower, which served the airport for 58 years. It provides air traffic controllers with better airfield views and makes it easier for them to determine the positions of aircraft on the ground and in the skies around the airport.

The project came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

“This new tower supports President Obama’s call to invest in a transportation system that will help our economy grow and meet the needs of the Tucson community today and into the future,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Safety is our highest priority and the tower will enhance both safety and efficiency for everyone traveling through this airport.”

Hartzell 5-blade Swept Prop Popular with 30% of TBM Aircraft in Less Than 3 Years

Hartzell 5 bladeedit.jpg Hartzell Propeller has delivered 230 advanced swept airfoil five-blade props for Daher TBM 700/850/900/930 aircraft, since FAA approval in 2014. The announcement was made in advance of the Annual TBM Owners and Pilots Association Convention held recently in Phoenix, AZ.

"Hartzell's high performance structural composite propellers are now flying on roughly 30 percent of the entire Daher TBM fleet after less than three years on the market," said Hartzell Propeller Executive Vice President JJ Frigge. "The reasons are simple. These attractive, high performance propellers perform with shorter takeoff rolls, a better rate -of- climb, better cruise speeds,very smooth rides, a shorter stopping distance, with less noise."

Greater Rochester International Airport Wins $40M Revitalization Award

NY Rochester Coumoedit.jpg Steve Baldwin Associates (SBA) announced that their client, the Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) was one of two winners in Round 1 of New York State's "Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization" competition.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement of the $40 million state award in Rochester on September 21 to a crowd of dignitaries and community and business partners.

In announcing the award to transform ROC into a 21st Century airport, Governor Cuomo noted that the overall $63M redevelopment plan would increase economic opportunity, expand retail options, and improve passenger experience, all while promoting tourism and business development in the growing Finger Lakes region.

The Governor noted that ROC's proposed design includes world-class passenger amenities, enhanced security measures, premier retail and dining options, a solar canopy over the entrance skyway, state-of-the-art accessibility technology for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (a major constituency of the area) and a wide-scale redesign of the terminal building.

MAC Honors Northern Michigan Airport Director, Airshow Committee, Marine Colonel/Astronaut

Michigan Aero Commedit.jpg At its meeting in Gaylord, the Michigan Aeronautics Commission (MAC) presented its Award of Excellence to Matt Barresi, to the "Wings Over Northern Michigan" Gaylord airshow committee, and to retired Col. Jack R. Lousma. (Photo - Left to right: MAC Chairman Rick Fiddler, Matt Barresi, and MAC Director Mike Trout)

Matt Barresi is the Gaylord Regional Airport director, located in Otsego County. Barresi was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the Gaylord community by promoting aviation activities that foster goodwill and showcase the value of the airport. MAC salutes his "commitment to community involvement and dedication serving as an active member of numerous organizations, as well as coordinating the annual airshow. He exemplifies the professionalism and character worthy in receiving such an award. These actions have had a positive impact on the region and help ensure the health of aviation throughout the state of Michigan."

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