U.S. airports need $115.4 billion in infrastructure investments over the next five years to address critical needs, an industry trade group found in a report released on Wednesday.
The Airports Council International — North America (ACI-NA) found that these investments are needed to improve the air passenger experience, increase convenience, enhance security, expand competition and ultimately lower prices for travelers.
The report was released as President BidenJoe BidenJan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Two House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms MORE and congressional leaders are crafting a sweeping infrastructure package and debating how to pay for the spending, which includes conversations about a tax hike.
The air travel industry has struggled through the coronavirus due to the lack of travel. Airports received $8 billion from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Biden signed into law last week, bringing the total support the sector has received from Congress throughout the pandemic to $20 billion.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hobbled airports financially, and they need continued help to rebound from the steep and sustained drop in passenger traffic. It’s time for Congress to give airports the flexibility they need to reinvest in their facilities,” said Kevin Burke, CEO of ACI-NA.
Democrats passed the coronavirus relief package through reconciliation, which didn’t require Republican support. They are now debating whether to make the infrastructure bill more bipartisan and timing for the legislation.
Democrats want to pass it out of committee by Memorial Day and, while Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block Buttigieg says delay in climate action will cost lives amid reports of Manchin roadblock Sunday shows - Buttigieg warns supply chain issues could stretch to next year MORE declined to specify a timeline, he told reporters Monday that Biden would release an infrastructure proposal “in short order.”