DALLAS -- Faced with rising costs for an expansion project, the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Board is studying the possibility of imposing a passenger-facility charge.

Under federal law, the airport can charge up to $3 per passenger. At the maximum level, the charge, commonly known as a PFC, would generate an estimated $60 million a year to help pay the estimated $3.5 billion cost of expanding runways and terminals at the nation's second busiest airport.

"We're not saying that PFCs are definitely coming, but we need to consider them as an option when you look at the expenses we have on the horizon," said Vernell Sturns, the airport's director.

At its Thursday meeting, the airport board will formally consider asking the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to impose the fee. Fee revenues would be used along with traditional general airport revenue bonds to fund the expansion of the airport.

The imposition of the charge has generally been opposed by airlines because it appears on tickets in a way that causes consumers to believe the charge is being imposed by the carrier. Finance experts say, however, that carriers are now more receptive to the fee because the revenue comes from passengers and reduces the airline's cost.

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