Industry groups Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have published a new report emphasising the economic benefits of air transport on the US, as they continue their push against proposed fee increases on passengers and flights in the country.
Aviation generates $699.5 billion in economic output in the US, or 4.9% of the country's overall economy, every year according to the report by Oxford Economics that was sponsored by IATA in collaboration with A4A.
"We can use aviation as an asset to our economy like we feel some Asian economies," says John Heimlich, chief economist and vice president at A4A, during a briefing in Washington, DC today. "They look at aviation very differently, as essential to their economic ambitions and I think here its seen more as a consumer utility."
A4A is against a proposed doubling to $5 in the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) fee as well as a proposed new $100 per flight surcharge that was included in president Barack Obama's budget. The Senate appropriations committee approved the security fee earlier this month.
Douglas Lavin, regional VP of North America at IATA, says that Ireland and the Netherlands lost more economic activity than they gained in revenue after they implemented new taxes on air passengers at the briefing. The taxes were subsequently repealed following appeals from IATA and other groups, he adds.
The report also highlights how air transport companies are critical in transporting high value goods and connecting the US to global markets.