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Obama Budget Would Raise Airline Fees

March 5, 2014
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Airline passengers would pay $5 billion more over the next decade for travel security under Obama's budget.

The administration and Congress agreed in January to raise the Transportation Security Administration fee on each ticket from $2.50 per leg of a trip, capped at $5, to $5.60 each way. Portions of the travel industry criticized the increase because it was used to reduce the deficit rather than being spent directly on security, reports USA Today.

Obama's spending blueprint also says TSA will reduce staffing costs $100 million over the next year by focusing on high-risk passengers through programs such as Pre-check, which allows some travelers to use speedier checkpoint lines at the airport, reports USA Today. The administration plans to reinvest part of that savings in technology, according to the budget.

The TSA fee is part of $56 billion in new revenue or spending cuts that Obama proposed, in exchange for new proposals in his budget, reports USA Today. The two-year budget deal that Obama struck with Congress in January set overall spending limits, but left details of this year's $3.9 trillion blueprint to be negotiated through legislation during the rest of the year.

Other provisions in Obama's proposal tinker with airport-construction grants and the shift from ground-based radar to satellite-based navigation for air-traffic control. The air traffic control project called NextGen aims to make air travel safer and more efficient by making flight paths more precise, which would burn less fuel and save time.

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