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City Needs Just a Little More of Passengers' Dough to Pay for Love Field Renovations

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In October 2007, the Dallas City Council's Transportation and Environment Committee took up the issue of a proposed passenger facility charge for folks flying out of Love Field. The reason? The council was looking for ways to fund the capital improvements as part of the Love Field Modernization Program, and, as the committee noted in the fall of '07, "Memphis, Omaha, Houston Bush Intercontinental and DAL are the only Large or Medium Hub airports that have not implemented a PFC," meaning that "passengers are already paying for other airports' capital improvements." Which is why, on October 10, 2007, the council imposed a passenger facility charge of $3 per enplaned passenger at Love Field with the Federal Aviation Administration's OK.

But on Wednesday, the council will likely give the okee-doke to ask the FAA to up the passenger facility charge to the maximum amount allowed by the agency: $4.50. The council, facing a mammoth budget deficit, needs every last penny it can raise given that the guesstimated cost of the LFMP is now set at around $519 million, with completion of the multiphase project timed to the 2014 full repeal of the Wright Amendment. (Though, as I seem to recall, we were told 2017 was a more realistic due date.) And per the council's Wednesday agenda, the project will be paid for using "federal grant funds, Department of Aviation capital funds, bond proceeds, and PFC revenues." Says the agenda item, the increase in facility charge will bring in $304 million in revenues, though it doesn't say how the city arrived at that figure. I've got a call into Assistant City Manager Ramón F. Míguez, who handles aviation issues.

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