DFW Airport Faces Obama Budget Cuts - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

DFW Airport Faces Obama Budget Cuts

But airport says it could probably cover loss without serious disruption



    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is one of the big U.S. airports that would share $1.1 billion in cuts under the budget proposed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

    The White House budget proposal included the option of increased passenger fees to replace the reduced federal spending.

    Under the ax are Airport Improvement Program grants that cover projects such as runway improvements.

    "As far as the safety of people coming and going, that's a major concern," said Kay Evans, a visitor at the DFW Founders Plaza runway observation area.

    DFW Airport Faces Budget Cuts

    [DFW] DFW Airport Faces Budget Cuts
    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is facing budget cuts. The White House is proposing deep cuts, a plan that would trim more than a billion dollars in airport spending.
    (Published Monday, Feb. 14, 2011)

    "They start cutting money on them, they're not going to be able to fix them," said John Badaracco who was the runway with his granddaughter. "Some of the buildings are fairly old. It needs some work out here."

    But airport spokesman David Magana said DFW received only $9 million from the program last year and that the airport could find other revenue to replace it.

    "It should have a negligible impact if it happens," he said.

    The proposed federal cuts come as DFW Airport is launching a $1.9 billion renovation of its four original terminals.

    But Magana said money is already in place for the terminal renovation plan, and the proposed federal cuts will not cause delays in work due to start this month.

    "Our revenues are strong, they’re getting stronger," he said.

    The terminals opened in 1974 before there were security checkpoints at airports.

    "You could walk in without a ticket and go peruse all the shops in those days, and that's just not true any more in post 9/11 environment," Magana said. "A lot has changed."

    The renovation will change the configuration of checkpoints and passenger traffic through the terminals. The finished appearance of the old terminals will be more like the newer Terminal D.

    Plumbing and air conditioning will also be replaced to improve water and energy conservation.

    "There's all sorts of changes that will be coming to address the needs of the modern traveler and at the same time, we're going to get very green, much greener than we are now," Magana said.

    The passenger facility fee increase proposed by the budget would raise the current maximum of $4.50 to $7.

    Congress must debate the changes before anything is finalized.