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Airlines face higher security fee after failed terror attempt

Added safety measures after last month’s failed attempt to blow up ajetliner may make it harder for U.S. airlines to thwart a security-feeincrease the Obama administration has been seeking.<p></p>

Added safety measures after last month’s failed attempt to blow up a jetliner may make it harder for U.S. airlines to thwart a security-fee increase the Obama administration has been seeking.

“There’s no question” the administration and Congress will enact higher fees in response to the Christmas Day attempt, Michael Boyd, president of the Boyd Group International Inc., an aviation consulting firm, said.

U.S. airlines, with collective losses of about $60 billion since 2001, say they lack power to pass fees on to fliers.

Security costs should be borne by the government, said David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association, whose members include Delta Air Lines Inc. “The airlines are not under attack; the country is under attack,” Castelveter said.

Even before the attempt, President Obama’s Homeland Security Department last year proposed increasing a $2.50-per-passenger security fee by $1 annually for three years, starting in fiscal 2012.

Airline industry groups opposed the increase, and Congress never acted on it.