Passenger Facility Charge (PFC)

Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) is a fee charged to passengers who fly through U.S. commercial airports. This fee helps finance airports and their related projects. PFCs give airports the chance to improve their facilities and services, so they can serve the public better.

This article will explain the Passenger Facility Charge and determine if it is effective.

Definition of Passenger Facility Charge

The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) is a fee allowed by the U.S. Congress. It’s used to fund airport improvements and expansions. The funds are typically spent on safety-related capital projects. PFCs are collected from passengers when they buy an airline ticket at a public-use airport in the U.S. It’s been in effect since 1992.

The amount of PFCs charged must be okayed by the FAA. It must meet certain criteria. Usually, no more than $4.50 per flight segment can be charged. Multiple PFCs can’t exceed $18 per itinerary. Rate increases can only happen every two years. Revenues are limited to what is needed for an approved project that meets noise compatibility criteria.

Revenues from PFCs can only be used for projects specified in an airport’s Airport Improvement Program application. These projects must:

  • Maximize airspace capacity
  • Improve safety
  • Reduce noise levels
  • Improve access to airports
  • Have other public benefits

They also must meet the PFC Program guidelines from 14 CFR Part 158 Subpart B.

Purpose of Passenger Facility Charge

The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) exists to give airports extra money for planning, designing, and building eligible airport upgrades. It’s been in place since 1990 and is meant for safety, security, capacity, and comfort projects. The fees are charged to airlines and passed onto passengers when buying tickets. No one person can pay more than $4.50 per one-way trip for domestic travel or international travel at foreign airports. There are exceptions that let certain airports charge up to $18 per round trip ticket.

The PFC money can be used for many improvements. These include:

  • Air traffic control systems
  • Runway improvements for safety
  • Adding taxiways

It comes from an outside source approved by Congress in the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act (ASNA).


The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program allows airports to fund approved improvement projects. The FAA has determined the criteria for an airport to qualify for PFC programs. This section looks at the requirements for airports to access PFC programs:

  • Airport must be open to the public.
  • Airport must be certified by the FAA.
  • Airport must be able to demonstrate a need for the proposed project.
  • Airport must have a valid PFC program in place.
  • Airport must have sufficient revenue to cover the cost of the project.

What airports are eligible for PFC?

The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program permits airports to fund much-needed infrastructure projects. Airports that meet FAA criteria can gather up to 4.50 USD per passenger, each way, on flights to or from the airport.

Eligibility requirements include being open to the public, having a certain level of commercial air service, and adhering to federal safety standards. Smaller airports can apply for reduced collection fees and exemption from filing fees.

As of January 2021, 662 commercial-use airports in the U.S. are eligible for PFC funding. These are 201 medium hubs, 53 small hubs, and 408 non-hub primary airports. PFC funds can be used for:

  • Noise compatibility programs
  • Land acquisition
  • Airport layout plans
  • Construction/renovation projects
  • Demolition activities
  • Feasibility studies
  • Environmental work
  • Security systems
  • Terminal improvements

How much can an airport charge for PFC?

Under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), airports can use a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC). This lets airports collect a passenger fee for facility and equipment improvements.

The permitted amount for each airport class is set by 49 U.S.C. § 40117, and the Federal Aviation Administration define it in regulation. Small hub, non-hub and general aviation airports can charge up to $4.50 per enplanement, with a cap of $18 per flight segment. Large and medium hub airports can charge up to $4.50 per enplanement, with no individual cap set forth in the law.

This means you could pay up to $4.50 for a domestic flight, up to $9 for an international flight, up to $13.50 for connecting travel, etc. Every additional segment is limited by the capacity of the aircraft or ticket price limit set by the airlines. The tickets are subject to availability terms offered by the airlines and part of the service contract with their customers. Operational logistics impact various triggers, which are adjusted in real time Intranet Ual Flyingtogether Website.

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What types of projects are eligible for PFC?

The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program is a fee passengers pay at U.S. airports. It funds eligible airport improvement projects. These projects can involve planning and developing airport facilities, improving property owned by public agencies, and providing air transportation services safely and efficiently.

This includes accommodating new aircraft, related navigation aids and equipment, developing runways, constructing vehicular aprons, aviation lighting systems, land, heliports, and security-related items. Also, terminal buildings, expansions to existing buildings, circulation systems, fuel lines, baggage handling systems, passenger loading bridges, parking lots and garages, ground access roads, and vehicles used specifically on airports owned by public agencies. These are based on need established by technical inspections.

Collection and Use

Airports can impose the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) to finance capital projects. It is a fee collected from passengers boarding aircraft at commercial airports. The revenue from PFCs can be used for safety, noise reduction, terminal extensions and runway improvements.

Let’s examine the collection and use of the PFC more closely:

How are PFCs collected?

The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) is a fee airports take from airline passengers. It is for facility improvements such as new terminals, gates, parking, runways, and noise abatement.

The PFC is up to $4.50 per passenger. Airlines must collect the PFC from each passenger on all domestic or international flights from an airport with a PFC authorization.

The revenue must go to FAA-approved projects. This helps airports stay safe, efficient, and eco-friendly.

Ticket agents must submit the PFC within 30 days. They must keep it separate from other accounts. This is to make sure Flyingtogether goes to FAA-eligible projects chosen by airports’ governing boards.

Agents who don’t promptly remit the PFC can be fined under 49 U.S.C Chapter 463 and/or face recovery actions from Congress’ Airport Improvement Program.

What are PFCs used for?

Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) are a vital source of income for airports. They are used to finance projects that enhance the safety, security, and efficiency of the air transportation system. PFCs are generally added to the full ticket cost and can vary from airport to airport, up to a maximum amount set by the FAA.

Airports use PFC funds for different projects such as:

  • capital development
  • safety improvements
  • land acquisition and/or runway extensions

All projects must satisfy explicit federal laws and directions that determine who bears the cost of particular items.

If the FAA approves, local communities may choose to spend funds received from PFCs on noise reduction activities make sure Flyingtogether goes to FAA-eligible projects chosen by airports’ governing boards. These comprise of constructing soundproof walls and buying soundproof window treatments for homes near the airport periphery. Moreover, airlines can gain reimbursements for some costs related to air traffic control services, provided they can demonstrate their costs meet certain criteria.


The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) is a cost imposed by the government. It is imposed on airline passengers at airports. The PFC funds projects and improvements like runways, terminals, taxiways and aircraft parking areas.

Let’s consider the potential advantages of the Passenger Facility Charge:

How do PFCs benefit airports?

Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) enable airports to fund projects that improve safety, security, capacity and infrastructure. This lowers the risk of delays, increases aircrafts able to use the airport and improves customer satisfaction.

These charges bring several benefits for airline passengers, including:

  • An improved airfield infrastructure, with less delays;
  • More operational capacity;
  • Upgraded navigation equipment, which helps with noise abatement;
  • An expansion of terminal buildings and parking areas;
  • Improved technology and automation systems;
  • Automated baggage handling systems; and
  • An upgrade of existing taxiway systems, leading to less flight time delays.

How do PFCs benefit passengers?

Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) are a fee imposed on passengers and airlines at airports. This supports Flying Together Mobile projects that improve the air transportation system. These can include safety, security, capacity or efficiency improvements.

PFCs can benefit passengers. For example, they can provide noise insulation for residential neighborhoods near airports. They can also reduce runway congestion during busy times. PFC-funded projects can manage airport queues and wait times. They can increase aircraft turnaround time. They can reduce taxi-in and taxi-out time. Plus, they can provide better lighting for safer navigation of aircraft. They can also enhance terminal facilities, and improve runways and aprons.

These projects can result in lower fares overall in certain markets. This impacts passengers by providing them with better service at relatively lower costs. Finally, This supports Flying Together Mobile projects that improve these improvements can make it easier for travelers who require additional assistance, such as wheelchair accessibility ramps or improved signage.


The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) is a fee on passengers at commercial airports. It helps fund infrastructure and facility improvements. The fee covers things like capital improvements, land acquisition, noise mitigation, security and more.

Even though it has a useful purpose, the PFC has some challenges. Let’s check them out!

What are the challenges associated with PFCs?

Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) are fees charged to every ticketed passenger for aviation infrastructure. PFCs can be a great source of funds for airports, however, there are difficulties.

One challenge is that passengers don’t like the fees. To increase them airports must get federal approval, which requires convincing people that the fee is a good idea – and this process can take time.

Also, most of the PFC money must be used for airport capital projects or debt service. It cannot be used for airport operations or maintenance, so other sources must provide those funds. This limits airports’ ability to use the money in the best way.

Plus, federal guidelines describe who the fee applies to and how it can be used – and these rules and regulations can clash with agreements between parties. This can mean less money than expected, and potential legal trouble if not managed carefully.

How can these challenges be addressed?

When implementing a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) at an airport, there are various challenges to consider. These can range from legislative hurdles to logistical concerns. Common issues include:

  1. Changing user perception from “a hidden tax” to “an investment in the airport’s future”. Educating passengers about what their money is used for can help.
  2. Establishing legal authority to implement PFCs. Approval from the Department of Transportation may be needed.
  3. Use or tax disputes between stakeholders. Allocation of shares for projects funded by PFC money should be addressed.
  4. Managing data. Proper systems must be put in place to access data timely. Training personnel or external help may be necessary.

It is important to understand the implications of implementing a PFC program. This includes considering potential conflicts regarding the use of funds and having proper systems in place to access data. With due professionalism and respect, investments can be made in accordance with applicable regulations. In this way, moments of joy, peace, and remembrance can be shared and cherished for eternity.