The FAA has awarded $371 million to 169 airports across 40 states to invest in airfield, safety, and improvement projects. These awards are the third disbursement of the mega $3.2 billion in funding allocated this year to the Airport Improvement Program. So far, the FAA has awarded $1.53 billion of the overall amount, or just under half.
The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds infrastructure projects, including enhancements and repairs to runways, taxiways, lighting, signage, and markings at selected airports. The FAA uses passenger boarding for a full calendar year to allocate AIP entitlements. Funding for the program comes from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which gets revenue from airline ticket taxes and taxes on aviation fuel.
Shannetta R. Griffin, the FAA associate administrator for airports, said in a statement, “the $371 million investment would help airports across the nation sustain and improve critical infrastructure to advance the safest, most efficient airport system in the world.”
In the announcement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said airports were drivers of local economies, especially given the post-pandemic resurgence in travel.
“These grants will help modernize our airports to help get people where they need to go and support the economic life of our nation,” Buttigieg said.
In this latest allocation, the Chefornak Airport in Chefornak, Alaska (CFK) received the largest grant, $31.2 million. The funds will pay for runway and taxiway improvements and the installation of various navigation aids at the airport.
Two major airports, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (KDFW) and Orlando International Airport (KMCO), the second and seventh busiest airports in the U.S., respectively, will get a combined $29 million in funding for their projects. KMCO’s award will help improve taxiway lighting while KDFW will use its funds to construct a taxiway,
Small Airports Get Support Too
To ensure that smaller airports don’t miss out on some of the funding, the State Block Grant segment of the program allows 20 participating states to distribute funding to airports classified as “other than primary.” These are non-primary commercial service, reliever, and general aviation airports.
In this case, airports in the Texas State Block Grant Program received the highest funding award, more than $27 million for improvements. Overall, airports in the block programs across the country, including North Carolina, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Michigan, received a combined $66 million for projects.
Overall, airports in Alaska have received most of the available funds since the allocation began this fiscal year, with more than $59 million going towards airport projects and equipment in the state. Airports in Texas are close behind, having received $56 million in funding.