| | | | |

GBTA Applauds Prioritization of TSA Funding and Investment as Part of U.S. Government Budget  

Approved $1.2 trillion budget package for FY 2024 includes reallocating airfare fees for TSA upgrades and expansion which supports better efficiency and safety while traveling 

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) commends the inclusion of a provision in the recently-passed $1.2 trillion 2024 federal government spending package which reinstates revenue collected from airline ticket security fees back to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Passed this weekend by the U.S House, Senate and President Biden, this decision is expected to give TSA a much-needed infusion of funds in fiscal year 2024 to provide for hiring more personnel and upgrade equipment to improve traveler safety and streamline services.  

Originating from the 9/11 attacks, Congress had established a fee of $5.60 per flight or $11.20 per roundtrip on all airline tickets purchased to help offset the costs of the then newly formed TSA. However, in 2014, Congress voted to allocate $.60 per flight from the $5.60 security fee toward reducing the federal deficit, at least through 2027. This provision reinstates the $.60 allocation back to TSA.  

GBTA has long been advocating for those fees to be reinstated back to TSA and considers this news to be a major benefit for the business travel industry and business travelers. 

“We’ve heard from our members and our industry how traveling for business could benefit from more convenience and consistency and TSA has coped with the challenges that arise from having to do more with less,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO of GBTA. “This reallocation of funding will help further ease the friction the business travel community has faced, and GBTA will continue to advocate for even better and safer air, rail and roadways for all travelers.” 

In FY 2023, $1.5 billion was diverted from aviation security (TSA Budget, p. 331), and more than  $19 billion in total was estimated to be diverted by FY 2027 unless the law was changed. 

An additional $19.96 million in funding for 150 more Customs and Border Protection officers is included in the package. Additionally, language was included to encourage the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to explore adding more preclearance locations, with a focus in the Indo-Pacific region, an area defined as reaching from the U.S. Pacific Coast to the Indian Ocean, and which encompasses Northeast and Southeast Asia, South Asia and Oceania, including the Pacific Islands.  

GBTA and business travel industry attendees of its annual U.S. Legislative Summits have long called for the end of the security fee diversion. At the June 2023 Legislative Summit, attendees encouraged Congress to support the DHS in expanding preclearance operations.  

Read more here about the $1.2 trillion spending package, which funds the United States government and its agencies through September 2024.