October 21, 2021
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The Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded more than $431.8 million in grants to support projects at 60 airports in 31 states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That funding comes from the final round of fiscal year 2021 Airport Improvement Program or AIP grants.

[Above photo by the NCDOT]

FAA added that due to the $100 billion in transportation funding made available via the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Joe Biden in March, the local match typically required of such projects would not apply.

Stephen Dickson

“With today’s awards, the FAA has provided $3.2 billion in airports funds this year to improve safety, environmental stewardship, and accessibility,” noted FAA Administrator Steve Dickson in a statement.

“These grants support airport infrastructure across our National Airspace System, providing federal investment to communities of all sizes, from remote areas to major metropolitan cities,” he added.

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 trade association Airports Council International–North America 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 reportedly lost between March 2020 and March 2021, the group added.

editor@aashto.org

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