Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sacramento Airport To Expand, Raise Fees - Upsetting Airlines

In May, Sacramento county government unanimously approved a $1.27 billion expansion of Sacramento International Airport, to include a new terminal, hotel, parking garage and people-mover tram. But the cost of the expansion is expected to be paid by already cash-strapped airlines.

As part of the plan, the airport will boost charges to the airline by $6 to $9 per passenger, climbing to over $13 by the year 2013 to help cover improvement costs. The airlines strongly opposed the extreme fee hike. American airlines recently notified Sacramento airport officials they will pull 1 of the 4 daily flights between Sacramento and Dallas due to "substantial and unreasonable" fee increases recently imposed on all airlines using Sacramento's runways and ticket counters. Airport officials contend the real reason for American cutbacks may actually be related to rising fuel costs and trimming of flights nationwide.

Meanwhile, county officials have defended the airport's expansion plan and rate increases as fair and necessary.

(Pictured above: Design of the second floor ticketing area for Central Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport. More pictures can be found here.)