US Transportation Secretary announces $779 million in funding for airport infrastructure
US Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the intent to award $779 million in supplemental funding for infrastructure grants to 127 airports in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
“This supplemental funding allows us to invest in important infrastructure needs at the nation’s airports, especially those serving smaller and rural communities,” said US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
The selected airports will receive funding for construction or equipment to increase their safety, capacity, and security. Airports are vital to the local and regional economy and support critical transportation needs.
This funding is in addition to the $3.31 billion awarded in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding during fiscal year 2018, and $205 million awarded in the first tranche of supplemental AIP funding in September 2018. The recipients of the selected grants will meet any remaining required approvals. Selected projects include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals. The construction and equipment supported by this funding increase the airports’ safety, emergency response capabilities, capacity, and could support further potential growth and development within each airport’s region.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a Federal Register notice on July 9, 2018, explaining the evaluation criteria and submission process. After the FAA awarded $205 million to 37 airports in 34 states in September 2018, airports in October 2018 submitted additional funding requests for grant awards in fiscal years 2019 or 2020.
Under the Secretary’s leadership, the FAA is administering the supplemental funding to strengthen the safety and efficiency of America’s airports. These investments increase the nation’s competitiveness and improve the quality of life for the traveling public. According to the FAA’s most recent economic analysis, US civil aviation accounts for $1.6 trillion in total economic activity and supports nearly 11 million jobs.
The requirements under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 include:
• Requiring the FAA to give “priority consideration” to specific types of airports (smaller and more rural airports);
• For non-primary airports, there is no local match required for the work covered by the grant; and
• Requiring the FAA to obligate the supplemental funding by September 2020.