October 21, 2021
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The Federal Aviation Administration announced awards totaling more than $627.7 million in fiscal year 2021 funding for infrastructure and safety projects through its Airport Improvement Program or AIP.

[Above photo by McCarran International Airport.]

“Airports serve as a lifeline for communities across the nation,” noted U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “Modernizing our infrastructure in a way that creates jobs, ensures safety, combats climate change, and fosters equity is a top priority for the Biden-Harris administration. These airport improvement grants will help airports across the country better serve their communities.”

Photo by DFW Airport

AIP projects promote safety, efficiency, environmental stewardship, infrastructure, and security at the nation’s airports. This round of grant funding supports projects at 390 airports in 39 states, Puerto Rico and the Federated States of Micronesia, FAA said.

“These grants are an investment in safety and continued innovation,” said Steve Dickson, FAA’s administrator. “Every airport in every community plays a vital role in our air transportation system.”

That money follows nearly $2 billion in grant funding made available in February to help airports affected by COVID-19 under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Coronavirus Response Grant program.

Photo by the Alaska DOT&PF

Several state department of transportation studies – including ones from GeorgiaWyoming, and Alaska – show that airports function as significant “economic engines” as well as key mobility hubs.

Yet airports are also suffering long-term fiscal losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent report by the Airports Council International–North America trade association indicates U.S. airports will lose at least $17 billion between April 2021 and March 2022 due of the prolonged decline in commercial aviation traffic resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those losses are in addition to the $23 billion U.S. airports are expected to lose between March 2020 and March 2021, the group added.

editor@aashto.org

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