TR-23-3: Guiding Principle- Air Service on the Western Slope

WHEREAS the availability of abundant and affordable commercial air service throughout western Colorado is critical to the economy of our region for the transportation of freight and passengers, and

WHEREAS the success of the Colorado Airport System relies on both commercial service and general aviation airports, supporting more than 345,000 jobs and creating a statewide economic impact of more than $48.6 billion, and

WHEREAS funding for small rural airports comes from a mix of sources that can often be inconsistent from year to year and these funds are needed to fund capital development projects, and

WHEREAS significant state aviation fuel tax funds are disbursed to airports throughout the state annually by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics based on the formula of $.04 per gallon on aviation gasoline and jet fuel and 65% of the sales taxes collected on jet fuel, for the exclusive use for aviation purposes, as provided by the Colorado Revised Statues and the Constitution of Colorado, and

WHEREAS consistent, multi-year federal Airport Improvement Program funding is crucial for the continued economic benefit of Colorado communities, and development of a sustainable airport system, and

WHEREAS the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program allows the collection of local PFCs up to $4.50 for every enplaned passenger at commercial airports and that fee has been capped at $4.50 per flight leg since 2000, diminishing the purchasing power of PFC’s, and

WHEREAS Airports are permitted to use PFC’s to fund FAA approved airport projects that enhance safety, security, capacity, noise reduction, or to increase air carrier competition, and

WHEREAS regulatory changes and mandates impose a significant cost burden on small rural airports, and

WHEREAS commercial airports are required by FAA regulation to possess and use Class B perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) based foam for firefighting purposes, though the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 directed the agency to discontinue this regulation by 2021 due to environmental concerns, and

WHEREAS the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has worked diligently to keep US air travel safe in the face of ongoing security threats, however the bulk of the cost of maintaining security has fallen on commercial airport operators, threatening the safety, capacity, and existence of Western Colorado Commercial airports, and

WHEREAS many federal regulations do not consider the unique challenges of small rural airports nor the financial and economic impacts and burdens they cause to rural airport operators, and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Club 20 supports:

  • The maintenance and expansion of commercial and private air service on the west slope.
  • The Colorado Congressional Delegation implementing a multi-year FAA reauthorization bill with annual Airport Improvement Program appropriations that meets or exceeds the current funding levels without the creation/implementation of aviation system user fees.
  • The current state aviation fuel tax funding and distribution formulas and opposes any effort by the Colorado General Assembly to amend these formulas in any way that would reduce funding for western slope airports.
  • The Colorado Division of Aeronautics’ Discretionary Aviation Grant Program.
  • Raising Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) caps to enhance local airports by giving them greater options for funding their local needs.
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) establishing alternate affordable security measures for smaller airports while also providing funding for existing mandated security measures whose compliance places an onerous financial burden on rural airports.
  • State and federal regulations should be aligned, or an exemption should be permitted if federal regulations prohibit compliance with state regulations, and
  • The use of PFAS based fire suppression techniques until a suitable replacement to PFAS based foam has been identified and approved by the FAA.

Adopted 4/13/2023

Incorporates the following resolutions:

  • TR-94-3: Air Service on the Western Slope
  • TR-09-1: Aviation User Fees
  • TR-94-1: Airport Improvement Program
  • TR-91-2: Airport Security Costs
  • TR-17-1: Increase in Passenger Facility Charge at Airports, Support for
  • TR-02-4: Colorado Aviation Fuel Tax Funding

Resolution in PDF Format

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