Three military airports have been selected by the FAA to become eligible for grants to add civilian air operations.
The airports selected are either former or current military airfields. They are:
- Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas (KSKF), a joint-use general aviation airport, will participate in the program for five years.
- Mobile Downtown Airport in Mobile, Alabama (KBFM), a non-hub, primary airport located on the former Brookley Air Force Base, will also participate in the program for five years.
- Salina Regional Airport in Salina, Kansas (KSLN), a non-hub, primary airport on the former Schilling Air Force Base, will be in the program for four years.
“Adding civilian flights to these airports increases their role in fostering economic growth and creating jobs in their communities,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.
The grants awarded will be funded from the Military Airport Program (MAP), which has specific funding set aside for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). These programs are in place to help increase airports available to general aviation by standing up civilian-use operations at current or former military airports, and updating and improving current airport conditions, such as:
- Surface parking lots
- Fuel farms
- Utility systems
- Access roads
- Cargo buildings
- Other airfield-related infrastructure
“Working with local stakeholders, the Military Airport Program is an innovative and fiscally responsible way to help improve prior military facilities and make them an important economic driver for their communities,” FAA associate administrator of airports Shannetta Griffin said.
With the addition of these three airports, several airports are now eligible for MAP funding in 2022. Airports that have already been selected for funding are:
- Tipton Airport in Odenton, Maryland (KFME)
- Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport in Killeen, Texas (KHLR)
- Sawyer International Airport in Gwinn, Michigan (KMQT)
- Roswell International Air Center in Roswell, New Mexico (KROW)
The Military Airport Program allows participation for up to 15 joint-use or military airports each year. At least three of the airports selected must be general aviation airports and the remaining 12 must be commercial service or reliever airports. The selection time period can be from one to five years.
Since 1991, the FAA has provided approximately $764 million to more than 35 airports through the program.
The FAA will announce the next program open-application period in late 2022.