Anchorage, Fairbanks airports to begin charging fee

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two of Alaska's largest airports will begin collecting a fee that will generate millions of dollars.

The $3 passenger facility fee could bring Fairbanks International Airport $5.4 million over the next six years. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport should receive $15 million.

The fee has been charged to passengers flying outside of Alaska, but the money has gone to other airports. This is the first time the Fairbanks airport will be able to collect the money.

Doyle Ruff, manager of the Fairbanks airport, said the money will be used to fund improvements, including a new maintenance building and the purchase of heavy equipment such as snowplows and graders.

The fee, which the airport wants to start collecting Oct. 1, could result in a slight increase in ticket prices.

''I don't see how it really is going to affect customers,'' said Becky Litzinger, a travel agent with Vagabond Travel. ''I don't think it will be a problem.''

Juneau International Airport and Ketchikan International Airport already charge the fee, said Dennis Poshard, a Department of Transportation special assistant. The state owns and operates over 200 Alaska airports, including Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Now Fairbanks will be able to collect revenues that Seattle Tacoma International Airport and other airports have been collecting from Alaska travelers, Poshard said. For example, before the change money for a ticket from Fairbanks to Phoenix, with stops in Anchorage and Seattle, would only go to Seattle and Phoenix.

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