Iowa Transportation Commission Approves Aviation Funding

The Iowa Transportation Commission recently approved $7 million for the fiscal year 2022 State Aviation Program, which will largely fund airport improvements and “vertical infrastructure” projects statewide.

[Above photo by the Iowa DOT]

Iowa’s Airport Improvement Program will receive $4 million of that funding to support a variety of aviation safety initiatives, system planning, and air service development activities.

That program – funded with revenue from aircraft registration fees and aviation fuel taxes – will also provide fiscal support for development projects at 22 airports in Iowa, the commission said.

Photo by the Iowa DOT

Eligible AIP projects include runway, taxiway, and apron development; fuel systems; navigational aids; maintenance of aviation weather systems; runway marking; windsocks; emergency operational repairs; land-use planning; air service initiatives; and the mitigation of obstruction and wildlife hazards at airports.

Meanwhile, $2.9 million goes towards “vertical infrastructure” programs that will support projects at 12 general aviation airports and eight commercial service airports across Iowa. Those programs provide funding for the maintenance and development of airport facilities, such as terminal buildings, maintenance facilities, and aviation hangars.

Tammy Nicholson, director of Iowa’s Modal Transportation Bureau, noted in a statement that funding for the State Aviation Program is witnessing “significant recovery” from the dip to $4.8 million experienced in 2020.

“A return to normal aviation activity levels has increased fuel tax revenues,” she said. “Additionally, legislators were able to appropriate funds from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund to help meet significant vertical infrastructure needs at public-owned airports in Iowa.”

Airports play a critical role in state economic activity, according to reports compiled by several state departments of transportation across the country.

In January, reports from the Alabama Department of Transportation and North Carolina Department of Transportation illustrated the benefits airport investment provides for their respective economies. The Georgia Department of Transportation published a similar study in October 2020.

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