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Nancy West, CEO of Exstare Federal Services Group, asks a question to panelists at the Annual Leadership Summit on Capitol Hill.

The second, and potentially more acute, issue AMAC is seeking to address is the inclusion of the DBE Program in any proposal to amend the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Statute. Many airport industry stakeholders, with the exception of the major airlines, support removing the current PFC cap of $4.50 per airline ticket segment (up to $9.00 per trip) that has been in place since 2000. PFCs are collected by airlines on each airline ticket purchased and then passed to the associated airport used by the departing passenger. Airports use revenues from PFCs to fund renovations and capital improvement projects like building new terminals, baggage handling systems and landside infrastructure. Although AMAC supports the removal or adjustment of the PFC cap to allow airports to collect more fees for airport improvements, it also seeks to add the DBE Program provisions to any airport improvements funded by PFC fees. AMAC leaders are concerned that without the DBE Program connected to PFC-funded projects, airport business opportunities will fall subject to the internal policies or the laws of local governments, which could be inconsistent across airports with regard to DBE participation, and could be subject to change with local politics. The FAA reports that in 2016, 356 U.S. airports collected over $3.2 billion in PFCs from travelers. AMAC is keenly aware that a potential increase in the amount of PFCs, along with expected increases in both domestic and international air travel, will greatly expand the amount of projects funded by PFC

The FAA reports that in 2016, 356 U.S. airports collected over $3.2 billion in PFCs from travelers. revenues. Therefore, ensuring that the DBE Program is included in projects funded by PFCs is high on AMAC’s priority list. Furthermore, if a PFC increase is passed, Congress is expected to decrease the funding available through the federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP), the other major source of funding for airport capital improvements. A reduction in AIP funding, which included the DBE Program, would also reduce business opportunities for DBE firms. AMAC’s third legislative issue is the desire to conform the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) DBE Program Size Standard to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Standard. Currently, the DOT’s standard for consideration as a small business is less than the SBA’s standard. For instance, a construction firm must have average gross revenues over the past three years of less than $22.4 million to qualify as a DBE firm; however, the SBA’s standard for classification as a small business is $36.4 million. AMAC said that rule is “arbitrary” and should be addressed by Congress to conform the two programs to the same size standard.

// Spring 2017

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American DBE Magazine - Spring 2017  

American DBE Magazine is a quarterly digital and print publication dedicated to increasing business diversity and inclusion in the transport...

American DBE Magazine - Spring 2017  

American DBE Magazine is a quarterly digital and print publication dedicated to increasing business diversity and inclusion in the transport...