Trust Fund Income

You pay excise taxes when you purchase goods, such as airline tickets and aviation fuel, because the price of these goods includes taxes.

FAA derives Trust Fund income from excise taxes on:

  • Domestic airline passenger tickets
  • Domestic airline passenger flight segments
  • International passenger arrivals and departures
  • Air cargo waybills
  • Aviation fuels
  • Amounts paid for the right to provide mileage awards

The largest source of excise tax revenues is from transportation of passengers. Read more about the Current Aviation Excise Tax Structure and Rates (PDF).

Trust Fund Spending

Currently, the Trust Fund may cover both capital and operating costs. In FY 2013 and FY 2014 it provided all of the funding for three of FAA's four accounts, including:

  1. The Facilities and Equipment (F&E) account, which funds technological improvements to the air traffic control system
  2. The Research, Engineering, and Development (RE&D) account, which funds research on issues about aviation safety, mobility, and the environment
  3. The Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which provides grants for construction and safety projects at airports

The Trust Fund also provides a portion of the funding for FAA's Operations account. It provided about 54% in FY 2013 and 67% in FY 2014. The General Fund provides the remaining portion of FAA's Operations account.