U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao recently announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $616.9 million in airport infrastructure grants, as part of the total $3.18 billion in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding for airports across the United States.

“The Department has been investing heavily in our nation’s airport infrastructure, which will strengthen economic growth and create jobs in communities across the country,” said Secretary Chao.

This fourth increment of funding provides 242 grants to 226 airports, and will fund 408 infrastructure projects. These include runways, taxiways, aprons, terminals, aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles, snow removal equipment and two firefighting training facilities.

U.S. infrastructure, especially its 3,323 airports and 5,000 paved runways, increases the country’s competitiveness and improves the traveling public’s quality of life. According to the FAA’s most recent economic analysis, U.S. civil aviation accounts for $1.6 trillion in total economic activity and supports nearly 11 million jobs. Under the Secretary’s leadership, the Department is delivering AIP investments to strengthen the safety and efficiency of America’s airports.

Airports receive a certain amount of AIP entitlement funding each year based on activity levels and project needs. If their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.

The Projects

Among the grant awards announced are:

Aspen-Pitkin County/Sardy Field Airport in Aspen, Colo., $5.7 million – This project funds the design to relocate the existing Runway 15/33 for flight safety.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Ga., $17 million – The grant funds the final phase of a new 4,200-ft. taxiway around the approach end of Runway 9L. This project will enhance the safety and efficiency of airfield operations.
Guam International Airport in Tamuning, Guam, $16 million – The airport will use the funds to construct the final phase of a 30,000 square foot aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) building to help the airport meet safety requirements. The new facility will also extend the life of the ARFF equipment by protecting it from adverse weather conditions.
Sioux Gateway/Col Bud Day Field Airport in Sioux City, Iowa, $13 million – Funds will be used to reconstruct a portion of Runway 17/35 that has reached the end of its useful life.
Lafayette Regional/Paul Fournet Field Airport in Lafayette, La., $10 million – The grant funds the fourth phase of the project to construct a new terminal building for the airport.
Alpena County Regional Airport in Alpena, Mich., $9 million – The airport will use funds to construct the final phase of a new terminal building for the airport.
Olive Branch Airport in Olive Branch, Miss., $15 million – Funds will be used for the local community to acquire and control a 460-acre, privately-owned airport, the busiest general aviation airport in Mississippi.
Helena Regional Airport in Helena, Mont., $4.6 million – The grant will fund the final phase of an expansion project for the terminal building.
Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., $11 million – fFunds will be used to repair 10,000 ft. of Runway 5R/23L.
Akron-Canton Regional Airport in Akron, Ohio, $6 million – The airport will use the grant to repair the terminal building for more efficient movement of passengers and baggage. The grant will also fund the replacement of snow removal equipment to help keep the airport operational during winter weather events.
Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport in Brownsville, Texas, $2.3 million – Funds will be used to construct a new terminal building.
Appleton International Airport in Appleton, Wis., $12 million – The grant will fund the construction of a regional aircraft rescue and firefighting training facility to increase the access and frequency of training.