The Federal Aviation Administration recently issued $371 million for airfield, safety and other improvement projects at 169 airports in 40 states nationwide through the third round of funding via the 2022 Airport Improvement Program or AIP.
[Above photo by the FAA]
The agency said its AIP initiative funds a variety of projects such as construction of new and improved airport facilities, repairs to runways and taxiways, maintenance of airfield elements like lighting or signage, and the purchase of equipment needed to operate and maintain airports.
“Airports play a tremendous role in local economies across the country, large and small, and as we emerge from the pandemic there is enormous demand for air travel,” explained U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement.
To date, the FAA said it has awarded a total of $1.5 billion of the $3.2 billion total funding available in fiscal year 2022.
State departments of transportation play a critical role in delivering infrastructure investment for airports, which in turn provides a range of economic benefits. For civil aviation, states directly supported four million jobs and generated $850 billion in total economic activity according to a 2020 report by the FAA.
For example, the Iowa Department of Transportation recently issued $100 million in grant awards to Iowa commercial airports via the state’s new Iowa Commercial Aviation Infrastructure Fund established in March.
Meanwhile, a study issued by the Illinois Department of Transportation in December 2021 notes that airports play a vital role in that state’s economy, reinforcing the importance of aviation on the state’s multimodal transportation system to promote mobility, supply chain movement, job creation and local quality of life.
That report – entitled the 2020 Illinois Aviation Economic Impact Analysis – found that of the $95.5 billion contributed to the Illinois economy by airports in 2019, $21.1 billion came from visitor spending, $35.9 billion related to the shipment of cargo and $38.4 billion resulted from direct impacts, including $32.5 billion in income to help support 492,768 jobs.
“Aviation is a pillar of our state. Its importance to our economy cannot be overstated,” said Illinois DOT Secretary Omer Osman in a statement.