The infrastructure in the US is falling apart, and there is no money to build high-speed rail. By comparison, the airlines have more money than they know what to do with. Case in point: SFO, which will spend another $4 billion on renovations.
San Francisco International Airport’s leaders announced Monday they plan to borrow more than $4 billion to pay for a 10-year building and renovation plan that includes a proposed 400-room hotel. Airport Director John Martin said the idea is to create a “world-class” experience in two domestic terminals as well as carry out “improvements” on the just over 10-year-old international terminal. He estimated the cost at $4.1 billion.
The spending is intended to bring the rest of the airport in line with the $383 million makeover of Terminal 2 which opened in April 2011. That terminal features California-living touches such as a yoga room, a wine bar and a restaurant that uses only local, organic ingredients.
One reason why SFO has $4 billion available to “loan” is because airline passengers only pay a portion of the cost for maintaining the aviation system. 70% of the FAA budget comes from ticket fees. And the TSA’s $7.6 billion budget for airport security gets just $2.5 billion from user fees. The FAA also received special exemption from mandatory sequestration cuts. It really says a lot about this country’s spending priorities when health and education programs get cut, but airport travelers have yoga rooms.