The federal government charges airline passengers a $2.50 per leg “September 11th Security Fee.” In its latest budget proposal, which includes big spending increases for transportation projects, the Obama administration drops a bomb on travelers: it’s not enough.
Not by a long shot.
The fee captures only 36 percent of the cost of providing aviation security, and the increased fee — which it declines to name — will result in passengers paying “a majority” of the estimated cost of passenger and baggage screening by 2012.
The budget doesn’t address the question of whether the elaborate (and some would argue, ineffective) security measures currently in place at America’s airports should be continued.
The Air Transportation Association, the lobbying arm of the airline industry, opposes these open-ended fee hikes. A spokesman for the organization said airlines shouldn’t be responsible for security.
We believe that aviation security is a U.S. government responsibility. These costs should not be on the backs of airlines and their customers.
This is one of those rare times when the airlines and their passengers are on the same page.
If you’re going to spend $70 billion on transportation, how about sparing a little for a smarter Transportation Security Administration instead of socking airline passengers with the bill?