Kansas Increasing Investment Funding for State Airports

Governor Laura Kelly (D) recently signed House Bill 2498 into law; legislation that will increase investment funding for public airports statewide.

[Above photo by Kansas DOT]

House Bill 2498 increases annual funding for the Kansas Airport Improvement Program or KAIP from $5 million to $15 million. This increased funding will provide funding to 109 public airports statewide; allowing them to modernize and address infrastructure needs, the governor said.

“This bill is a critical investment in our state’s aviation infrastructure, ensuring our public use general aviation airports have the resources they need to thrive,” Gov. Kelly noted in a statement. “By boosting funding to the Aviation Fund, we’re enhancing safety and supporting economic development across Kansas.”

Image by AASHTO

[Editor’s note: In April 2023, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials published a new report analyzing the impact of general aviation on state and local economies across the country. That new report – officially entitled “The Impact of General Aviation on State and Local Economies—State Reports 2023” – is a joint effort between AASHTO, the Alliance for Aviation Across America, and the National Association of State Aviation Officials.]

That additional funding will support essential initiatives such as pavement improvement, safety enhancements, and automated weather observation systems that are crucial for air ambulance services in rural areas, noted Calvin Reed, secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation.

“These airports generate over $9 billion in annual economic output,” he said. “The KAIP program helps this important industry remain a vital part of the Kansas economy. That translates into jobs and quality of life for the residents of Kansas.”

State departments of transportation across the country play a critical and ongoing role in the aviation sector.

Photo by Florida DOT

For example, the Florida Department of Transportation recently created an Advanced Air Mobility Advisory Committee comprised of key industry partners and public and private sector stakeholders to enhance the integration of Advanced Air Mobility or AAM into the state’s transportation network.

The agency explained that AAM is an air-based transportation mode that makes use of electric vertical take-off and landing or eVTOL aircraft to carry passengers and cargo and provides essential services in urban and rural settings.

Concurrently, Florida spearheaded a series of meetings and a tabletop exercise with the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority at Tampa International Airport to further identify needs, discuss challenges, streamline processes, and develop necessary AAM infrastructure across the state.

“Florida is an ideal target market for this technology and for related business opportunities,” noted Jared Perdue, Florida DOT secretary, in a statement. “The efforts we are making now lay the groundwork for this upcoming option and will ensure success in the future.”

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