Every time you buy an airline ticket, a part of what you pay goes toward the cost of anti-terror, aviation security operations. That security-related portion will increase from a current maximum of $5.00 to $8.00 due to enhanced security measures in President Bush's proposed 2006 Homeland Security budget.
The budget proposes raising the fee on a typical one-leg ticket from $2.50 one way to $5.50. For passengers traveling multiple legs on a one-way trip, that fee would increase from the current maximum of $5.00 to $8.00. Fees cover nearly the full cost of aviation screening operations.
According to the White House, aviation security is a shared responsibility of the federal government, airports, airlines and traveling public. Airport screening, one element of aviation security, benefits passengers and air carriers by protecting them from threats. These costs should be borne primarily by the beneficiaries of screening services.
Aviation-related security enhancements in President Bush's proposed budget include:
The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) seeks a total of $688.9 million. This funding will allow Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to protect air security and promote public confidence in our civil aviation system.
CBP Targeting Systems aid in identifying high-risk cargo and passengers. The budget includes a total of $28.3 million for these system initiatives, which includes a $5.4 million increase.
Federal Flight Deck Officers (FFDO)/Crew Member Self-Defense (CMSD) Training is increased by $11 million in FY 2006 for a total of $36.3 million. This allows for the expansion of the semi-annual firearm re-qualification program for FFDO personnel and to fund the first full year of the CMSD training program.
Counter-MAN Portable Air Defense Systems (C-MANPADS) funding is increased by $49 million to a total of $110 million in the budget. This program will continue to research the viability of technical countermeasures for commercial aircraft against the threat of shoulder-fired missiles.
Secure Flight/Crew Vetting requests an increase of $49 million to field the system developed and tested in FY 2005. The funds will support testing, information systems, connectivity to airlines and screen systems and daily operations. This also includes an increase of $3.3 million for crew vetting.
Emerging Checkpoint Technology is enhanced by $43.7 million in FY 2006 to direct additional resources to improve checkpoint explosives screening. This assures that TSA is on the cutting edge, ahead of the development of increasingly well-disguised prohibited items. This proposed increase will result in investing more than $100 million invested in FY 2005 and FY 2006 for new technology to ensure improved screening of all higher risk passengers.