Raising revenue: Bemidji Regional Airport to add passenger fee for facility needs
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji Regional Airport is aiming to raise $605,196 in revenue the next six years through a fee added to passenger tickets. The Passenger Facility Charge, or PFC, is a $4.50 user fee added to tickets from a departing airport and i...
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji Regional Airport is aiming to raise $605,196 in revenue the next six years through a fee added to passenger tickets.
The Passenger Facility Charge, or PFC, is a $4.50 user fee added to tickets from a departing airport and is authorized through the Federal Aviation Administration. The fee is attached to the ticket that passengers buy from the airline and the company sends that fee on to each airport they sell tickets for.
Bemidji Regional Airport Executive Director Karen Weller said PFCs are used nationwide and has been applied locally since 2006.
"At that time we wanted to collect about $790,000 because we had a number of projects such as shifting the runway," Weller said. "Originally, it was supposed to be in for just a few years, but the market slowed down a bit and so did our collecting, so we extended it to February 2016."
According to Weller, the charge allows the airport to recoup the local share from improvement projects that are approved by the FAA. Because the PFC approved in 2006 is ending early next year, Weller said the airport is seeking authorization with a new application for another fee to prevent a gap in fund collecting.
"It's a new application for the airport because the funds are going to be used for different projects," Weller said.
There are 10 projects, which have already been completed, for which the airport is looking to recoup costs through the new PFC. The projects include:
Acquiring a new snow blower. Total cost of $873,218 with a local share of $43,661.
Acquiring new snow removal equipment such as a plow, truck and sander. Total cost of $424,792 with a local share of $10,573.
Air rescue and firefighting building design work. Total cost of $80,850 with a local share of $4,043.
Construction of the air rescue and firefighting building. Total cost of $736,271 with a local share of $36,814.
Design work and wildlife hazard assessment for terminal rehabilitation. Total cost of $198,167 with a local share of $8,972.
Terminal building improvements such as replacement of mechanical systems, lighting, electrical and terminal area increase. Total cost of $7,864,510 with a local share of $321,032.
Addition of a passenger boarding bridge. Total cost of $554,340 with a $27,717 local share.
Water service, sewer and storm water system upgrades at the terminal building. Total cost of $753,808 with a local share of $37,690.
Construction improvements to the airport parking lot. Total cost of $2,205,477 with a local share of $110,274.
Removal of concrete panels north of the terminal buildings to help the airport apron stay in serviceable condition. Total cost of $183,939 with a local share of $4,421.
Weller said the airport is seeking to start the PFC on Oct. 1 with the intent to keep it in place until Oct. 1, 2021, which will raise $605,196 in revenue.
The PFC program started in 1990 and has been approved by the FAA in 392 airports nationwide. Currently, 361 airports are collecting fees. Because the airlines handle the tickets, the companies keep 11 cents from each PFC fee resulting in the airport getting $4.39.
Weller said there is currently a public comment period in which both local residents and airline companies can send in comments regarding the PFC. Comments can be sent to Weller at 3824 Moberg Drive Northwest, Suite 101 in Bemidji.
For more information visit www.bemidjiairport.org .