Presently, passengers departing Sioux Gateway Airport, and all airports, pay a passenger facility charge (or PFC). You pay this to every airport you depart from, and the fees go to help offset local costs. Congress is currently considering increasing, possibly doubling, these fees. As an example, a family of four taking a round-trip flight from Sioux Gateway with connections presently pays $72 in PFCs and this could increase to $144. The major beneficiaries of this increase will be large airports, which generally have alternative sources for funding.
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While Sioux Gateway and many other regional airports need all sources of funding, the best way we can continue to grow our airport is to increase the number of travelers, not increase the fees they are charged. Sioux Gateway passengers already pay twice the PFCs that a passenger originating and flying direct from a hub like Chicago might pay. This increase would have a negative effect on the number of folks that travel, and adversely impact airports like ours.
Our airport is a great driver of economic activity with business travelers, tourism with leisure travelers, and home to many who are employed at Sioux Gateway, either directly or indirectly. The potential for Congress to double these fees would be a negative for our community and would discourage price-sensitive customers to the benefit of larger hub airports.
Our best path to growth is more passengers on more flights, not higher fees. David Bernstein, Sioux City, Sioux Gateway Airport board president