FAA Awards Nearly $1B in Airport Project Fundingeditor@aashto.org March 3, 2023 0 COMMENTS
The Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded nearly $1 billion in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA funding to 99 airports “of all shapes and sizes” in 47 states and two territories to support a wide variety of projects.
[Above photo by the Colorado DOT]
That funding comes from the Airport Terminal Program, one of three aviation programs created by the $1.2 trillion IIJA, which was enacted in November 2021. The IIJA provides $1 billion annually for five years for Airport Terminal Program grants, FAA said.
In a statement, the FAA said that funding should help meet growing demand for air travel as the aviation industry continues to recover from impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also funds key airport investments to help get travelers in and out of airports more quickly and improve the passenger experience by investing in new baggage systems, larger security checkpoints and improved ground transportation. Other projects increase terminal sustainability and improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities, as well as address the needs of aging air traffic control towers, the agency noted.
State departments of transportation across the country play a critical role in supporting the aviation industry and airport infrastructure.
For example, a report issued by the North Carolina Department of Transportation in January found that North Carolina’s 72 publicly owned airports contribute more than $72 billion to the state’s economy each year – 11 percent of the state’s total economic output – and support nearly 333,000 jobs.
Meanwhile in September 2022, New York issued $230 million in funds to nine upstate airports for revitalization projects that “reimagine and modernize” their respective facilities.
That funding comes from the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, administered by the New York State Department of Transportation. NYSDOT noted this grant program aims to promote, revitalize and accelerate investments in upstate commercial passenger service airports, helping to create airports for the 21st century.
Elsewhere, the aviation division of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development unveiled a new program in 2022 aimed at boosting tourism to Louisiana airports, encouraging pilots and aviation enthusiasts to visit airports statewide.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Transportation issued an Illinois Aviation Economic Impact Analysis in December 2021, which found that the state’s airports annually contribute $95.5 billion to the state’s economy and support an estimated 492,768 jobs.
Several other state DOT studies – including ones from Georgia, Wyoming, and Alaska – also show that airports function as significant “economic engines” for their respective territories, as well as key mobility hubs for businesses and residents.