The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded more than $608 million to enhance airports across the country.
The first round of 2022 Airport Improvement Programme (AIP) grants will go to 441 airports of different sizes across 46 states, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. This funding is in addition to the $20 billion the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests in US airports.
“In communities of all sizes, airports are vital to regional economies, sustaining jobs and getting people and goods where they need to go,” said US Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg. “These AIP grants will help make airports better, safer and more accessible, so they can better serve people in every community for decades to come.”
Examples of grants that will go to enhance safety at airports across the US include: $13.46m for Minneapolis-St. Paul International/ World Chamerlain, MN, to extend and improve the safety area, add taxiway lighting, reconstruct the taxiway and apron and replace the airport lighting vault. Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, NJ will receive $8.57m to improve its runway safety area, while Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Buffalo, NY, will receive $7.54m to rehabilitate 8,829 feet of the existing runway 5/23 pavement and lighting system as well as the reconstruction of 63 airfield guidance signs. In American Samoa, Pago Pago Airport will benefit from $18.8m to rehabilitate a runway.
Meanwhile general aviation airports will receive more than half of these first grants, with 272 grants in amounts ranging from $38,680 to more than $4.6m. These airports are recognised as being vital to communities and the wider aviation industry, offering facilities for pilots to rain, emergency medical services infrastructure and providing connectivity for rural communities. Some of the general aviation airports to benefit include: Gallatin County Airport in Sparta, KY, which has been given $4.15m to fund the final phase of its construction. Robert Curtis Memorial Airport in Noorvik, AK will be awarded $1.9m to rehabilitate a runway while two grants totalling more than $1.29m for Laughlin/ Bullhead Airport in Bullhead City, AZ, will be used to renovate the existing passenger terminal public restrooms within the existing footprint and reconstruct airfield guidance signs and the taxiway. In North Dakota, Devils Lake Regional Airport has been awarded a $36,000 grant while Jamestown Regional Airport has been awarded $45,000 to purchase aircraft rescue fire fighting vehicles and safety equipment.
Other grant awards fund projects that demonstrate the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to equity and environmental sustainability. These include $1m for Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport in Gunnison, CO, to rehabilitate the existing terminal restrooms, elevators, escalators, concession areas, security screening and holding areas to meet current building codes and comply with ADA requirements. Montrose Regional Airports in Montrose, CO, will receive $1.6m to expand its existing terminal building to comply with ADA requirements. This project also rehabilitates the existing terminal building restrooms, elevators, escalators and security holding area. Finally $3.5m has been allocated for Alexandria International Airport, to purchase 15 homes and relocate 40 residents adversely impacted by aircraft noise. This project will benefit owners and tenants living near the airport.