Airport Business

AUG-SEP 2018

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6 airportbusiness August/September 2018 INSIDE THE FENCE Joe Petrie Editor-in-Chief Georgia on My Mind One of the most impressive qualities of the transportation sector is how easy it is for politicians to regale in its importance while simultaneously taking steps to hamper it. I was reminded of this when Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal decided to surprise the state’s airports by eliminating a dedicated funding source for airports by taking executive action to end the state’s tax on jet fuel. While touting the $62 billion economic impact the aviation sector has on the state per year, Deal’s office crowed in the press about the $39 million that will no longer be collected in jet fuel taxes. Under the old system, 25 percent of the taxes went to Georgia’s airports in the form of block grants, which means there’s $10 million less available for the state. So, in other words, thanks for what you do, here’s $10 million less to make sure you can keep doing what you do on top of the federal government’s resistance to increasing the PFC. Gee, thanks. Some people will say that $10 million is paltry and really won’t be missed. On the flip side, that $39 million in jet fuel taxes was considered a hindrance to the state’s airlines. According to a recent ACI-NA report, Delta alone reported a $547 million in net profit in the first quarter of 2018 on top of $3.6 billion in profits in 2017. I’m no mathamagician, but even if the airline shouldered the entire tax alone that wouldn’t even break 1 percent of their profits. Some alluded to the airline possibly moving its headquarters if the tax elimination didn’t happen. Of course other leaders jumped on the rumor and went out with open arms. But if they thought Delta was going to leave over such a small impact to its bottom line, I would hope there are some bigger issues at play regionally and that an airline leadership would not be so vindictive as to move tens of thousands of jobs over essentially a rounding error worth of costs to its operations. Dedicated funding sources are the most crucial tools we have to maintaining and enhancing all of our transportation infrastructure. Anywhere they have been eliminated or reduced has led to worse and worse infrastructure. Don’t believe me? Come to Wisconsin and drive on our roads. Georgia’s funding source is gone and Delta has already talked of trimming routes and increasing ticket prices. Hopefully all of our Georgia readers have enough southern charm to weather through this because I know I sure couldn’t if I were in your shoes. 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And more travellers means more economic growth for our com- munity. #nbproud Published by Endeavor Business Media PO Box 803 • 1233 Janesville Ave Fort Atkinson WI 53538 920-563-6388 • 800-547-7377 VOL. 32, NO. 7 PUBLISHER: Missy Zingsheim 920-563-1665 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Joe Petrie 920-568-8399 SENIOR EDITOR: Benét Wilson 443-838-7033 SALES National Accounts Manager: Michelle Kohn 800-547-7377 x3344 National Accounts Manager / East Coast: Greg Szatko 262-473-9238 PRODUC TION Art Director: Rhonda Cousin Production Manager: Carmen Seeber CIRCUL ATION Audience Development Manager: Debbie Dumke ENDEAVOR BUSINESS MEDIA CEO: Chris Ferrell VP, Production Operations: Curt Pordes VP, Technology: Eric Kammerzelt Executive Vice President: Gloria Cosby VP Marketing: Gerry Whitty Director of Digital Business Development: Lester Craft List Rentals: Elizabeth Jackson email: phone: 847-492-1350 ext. 18 • fax: 847-492-0085 Subscription Customer Service 877-382-9187; 847-559-7598 PO Box 3257 • Northbrook IL 60065-3257 Article reprints • Brett Petillo Wright's Media 877-652-5295, ext. 118 Airport Business (USPS 001-614), (ISSN 1072-1797 print; ISSN 2150- 4539 online) is published 8 times per year in Feb/Mar, April, May, Jun/Jul, Aug/Sep, October, November and Dec/Jan by Endeavor Business Media, LLC. 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