DOT Awarding $1b in Aviation Infrastructure Grants

American travelers can look forward to new baggage systems, improved control towers, and quicker security checkpoints.

Source : Freepik

April 12, 2023

Author : Alex Bustillos

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) announced over $1 billion in grants to assist aviation infrastructure. While airline airports and large-airport air traffic control facilities will receive most of the funds, general aviation, and smaller airports will also benefit. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act allots $25 billion to reconstructing airports and air traffic control systems in the United States.

The funding will be used for airport upgrades like new baggage systems, increased terminal sustainability, improved accessibility of individuals, especially with disabilities, larger quicker security checkpoints, improved ground transportation, and re-construction of aging air traffic control towers. 

Pete Buttigieg, the US Secretary of Transportation, "Americans deserve the best airports in the world, and with demand for air travel surging back, this funding to improve the passenger experience couldn't come at a more urgent time."

The 99 airport funds announced on February 27 join a list of 85 airports that received financing in 2022 under the Airport Terminal Program (ATP). For the next five years, ATP will distribute $1 billion in funding to big hubs (55%), medium hubs (15%), minor hubs (20%), and non-hubs or non-primary airports (10%). 

This second set of grant recipients includes airports in two US territories and nearly every US state except Delaware, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

Under the ATP grants, the US DOT and FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) grants $243,825 for Oxford County Regional Airport and $50 million for Chicago O'Hare International Airport. 

The priority projects on the list of ATP are:

  1. The construction of a new 30-gate 1.2 million sq. ft. terminal at San Diego International Airport ($20 million grant
  2. The replacement of a 63-year aged air traffic control tower (ATCT) in Illinois ($14 million grant)
  3. Bolstering the resilience of the air traffic control tower at Chennault International Airport, Louisiana ($500,000)
  4. The replacement of the old fossil-fuel-powered heating system with an electric-powered heat pump at Portland International Airport ($6 million).

Many grants contain an element that will improve airport access in smaller communities.

The priority small community aviation projects under this program include:

  1. The relocation of the terminal building and reconfiguration of the road providing access to the airport entrance at Clinton Regional Airport in Clinton ($1.7 million)
  2. The construction of a new general aviation terminal building along with a waiting area, flight-planning rooms, and restrooms for flight crews and passengers at Ashley Municipal Airport ($950,000)
  3. The rehabilitation of the existing 1942 vintage hanger, which acts as the commercial terminal building and a Customs and Border Protection facility for international operations at Rafael Hernandez Airport in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico ($6 million)

Deputy FAA Administrator Bradley Mims said, "Today's funding doesn't just improve airport terminals. It creates opportunities in communities large and small for good paying jobs and a chance to be part of our country's driving aviation sector."

Category : Federal Government Investment in Infrastructure Airports

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