Bush Likely to Seek Doubling of Security Fees

President George W. Bush's administration may propose doubling airline-security fees for most travelers starting in October, according to financial news sources. If enacted, the increased fee would be $5 a flight for nonstop travelers, up from the current $2.50. Bush reportedly will submit the proposal as part of his fiscal 2007 budget to Congress on Feb. 6 for the year beginning Oct. 1. In response to media reports about the proposed increase, David Castleveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association trade group, said that the airlines vigorously oppose any such increase and that the Homeland Security Department must quit looking to airlines as an unlimited source of revenue for funding national security programs. The $2.50 fee was enacted two months after the Sept. 11 attacks to help pay for the screening of passengers and their bags. Passengers pay the fee as part of their airline ticket purchases, and carriers forward the money to the government.

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