Passengers Call on Congress to ‘Upgrade My Airport’ via Massive Digital Media Campaign

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ACI-NA launches new multi-channel digital media campaign to inform and educate consumers about the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), and urging communication with Congress.

As Congress considers transformational change of our nation’s aviation system, the PFC user fee is one simple tool Congress can use to boost local economies, create jobs, and improve the travel experience without relying on scarce federal funds.

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) today announced the launch of “Upgrade My Airport,” a robust multi-channel digital media grassroots and educational campaign urging Congress to put passengers first and modernize the locally set Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) in this year’s reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In just its first week, the campaign has already garnered over 260,000 consumer views of its video content on YouTube. Additionally, more than 5,500 Americans have signed an online petition, urging Congress to act quickly and provide support for airport modernization. Upgrademyairport.com is just the beginning of the multi-faceted campaign, which will expand through multiple online media channels in the coming weeks.

“Flight delays, overbooked flights, and high airfares continue to frustrate air travelers,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Passengers are tired of seeing outrageous bag fees and change fees go to pay for poor airline management with little benefit to travelers. When travelers learn how the PFC can spur competition, lower fares, and enhance safety and security, travelers increasingly agree it's time to modernize the PFC. As fuel prices have dropped more than 50 percent, consumers are still waiting for their savings on air fares.”

UpgradeMyAirport.com offers constituents a platform to learn about airport infrastructure needs and encourages them to educate their elected officials and other consumers about the goals of local communities who rely on their airport to generate economic growth. The site includes many valuable multi-media resources that clearly articulate airport needs. As the campaign expands, constituents will be able to communicate directly with members of Congress through over 80+ localized microsites of about the value of the PFC and its ability to improve their travel experience.

“As Congress considers transformational change of our nation’s aviation system, the PFC user fee is one simple tool Congress can use to boost local economies, create jobs, and improve the travel experience without relying on scarce federal funds,” Burke said. “The challenge for airports is that few people understand what the PFC actually does. Our job is to educate travelers and policy makers about the PFC and how it works to strengthen our entire aviation system. The rest of the story tells itself, just as early grassroots activity shows.”

The PFC is a locally-set user fee paid by passengers when they use airport facilities to help pay for improving airport infrastructure. The PFC can only be used to increase airline competition, rehabilitate aging facilities, expand capacity, and enhance safety and security. The PFC is a classic user fee because it is only paid by those who use the airport. Additionally, PFC revenue can only be spent on projects at that airport. While Congress sets the PFC cap, the federal government does not collect PFCs. Instead, the money goes directly to the airport, not Washington. As such, the PFC represents the passenger’s direct investment in airport infrastructure.

Learn more at http://www.upgrademyairport.com.

About ACI-NA
Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports employ more than 1.2 million people and account for $1.1 trillion in economic activity. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP.

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