The Federal Aviation Administration awarded $478 million in airport infrastructure grants on July 31 to 232 airports in 43 states, including American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico – monies that come from a total of $3.18 billion allotted to the Airport Improvement Program, which provides grant funding to “selected projects” including runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, construction of firefighting facilities, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals.
[Above photo via the Alaska DOT&PF.]
This follows awards of $477 million in grants to 264 airports in 45 states, the Pacific Islands, and the District of Columbia on July 9, as well as $495 million in similar grants to 327 airports in 46 States and the Pacific Islands on June 24.
[As an aside, here’s an interesting look at how the Colorado Department of Transportation is integrating the use of drones with airport operations, especially in terms of conducting runway inspections and wildlife mitigation missions.]
State departments of transportation that received funds through the AIP disbursement on July 31 include:
- More than $115 million to the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities for runway construction and the purchase of firefighting equipment.
- More than $45 million to the Texas Department of Transportation to fund its state block grant program.
- More than $20 million to the Missouri Department of Transportation to fund its state block grant program.
- More than $10 million to the Maryland Aviation Administration – a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation – for taxiway reconstruction at the Baltimore Washington International airport.
- More than $1 million to the New Jersey Department of Transportation for regional and local airport needs.
- More than $720,000 to the Indiana Department of Transportation to cover the costs of updating its system plan study.
“Infrastructure projects funded by these grants will advance safety, improve travel, generate jobs and provide other economic benefits for local communities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a statement.
Airports can receive a certain amount of AIP entitlement funding each year based on activity levels and project needs, the FAA noted, and if their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, the agency said it can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.