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US Congress Approves Short-Term Airport Tax Extensions

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

18 July 2016

Both the US House of Representatives and Senate have passed a bipartisan bill to extend the revenue provisions supporting the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) until end-September 2017.

Previous legislation, approved by Congress in March this year, had extended authorization of Federal Aviation Administration airport programs and the accompanying tax revenue provisions only on a short-term basis until July 15, 2016.

AATF revenue measures include ticket taxes, such as the domestic passenger ticket tax (7.5 percent on the purchase price of passenger tickets), the domestic flight segment tax (USD4 per passenger per domestic flight segment), and the international arrival and departure tax (USD17.80 per international flight, or USD8.90 per flight between the United States and Alaska or Hawaii). The excise tax on commercial aviation jet fuel has also been extended.

The move to extend AATF funding had been delayed in the Senate by moves from some Democrat lawmakers to add to the bill various renewable energy tax breaks that had been "forgotten" when the tax extenders legislation was passed in December last year. Those attempts failed, and the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 was passed on July 13 to President Barack Obama for signing.

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