Alexandria, VA (March 16, 2017) – This morning, President Trump released America First A Budget Blueprint to Mark America Great Again, highlighting the Administration’s top-line budget priorities for fiscal year 2018. The Blueprint included proposals to privatize air traffic control (ATC), cut certain TSA screening programs and increase the passenger security fee. The following statement may be attributed to Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO.
“GBTA commends efforts to modernize air traffic control. Business travel is a critical economic engine powered by air travel. Every day, American companies and their employees depend on efficient, safe air travel for invaluable face-to-face meetings with their customers, partners and colleagues. These meetings drive profits, expansion and jobs. The modernization of our nation’s air traffic control system will reduce flight delays and cancellations, add capacity at airports and enhance safety. Effective reform must include all stakeholders, and GBTA looks forward to working with the airlines, airports and Congress towards the mutual goal of an efficient and modernized air traffic control system.”
The Blueprint included an increase to the passenger security fee as well as proposed cuts to TSA screening programs. While it would increase the percentage that is directed towards aviation security, having any amount of this fee go towards deficit reduction or other needs unrelated to the travel industry is too much. Increasing this fee just amounts to another tax on travelers and the business travel community takes the brunt of that hit. GBTA’s ultimate concern is that taxes and fees are approaching the tipping point that will ultimately push business travelers to stay at home. Greater investments in screening technology and trusted traveler programs such as PreCheck and Global Entry are worthwhile investments that ease the convenience of travel, increase security and reduce costs by focusing resources in a more precise way.
There is no question that business travel is critical to our economy – every 1 percent increase in business travel spending creates an additional 71,000 jobs, nearly $5 billion in GDP and $3 billion in wages. We urge the Trump Administration and lawmakers to adopt policies that support our business travelers and help our industry grow.”
CONTACT: Colleen Lerro Gallagher, +1 703-236-1133, [email protected]
About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, gbta.org