FAA awards further $900m in airport improvement grants

The funding is used to renovate infrastructure and promote safety within the US aviation sector

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced it is awarding $898.8m (£638.9m) in infrastructure and safety project grants through the FY2021 Airport Improvement Programme (AIP).

Funding given through the initiative promotes safety, efficiency, environmental stewardship and security at hubs across the nation.

Denver International Airport
Photo Wiki Commons/Luciof

Pete Buttigieg, US secretary of transportation, said: “Investing in our nation’s infrastructure is how our country helped spark an aviation industry that now supports millions of jobs. These Airport Improvement Programme grants will help modernise America’s airports and ensure that our air transportation system remains the safest and most efficient in the world.”

The announcement includes 488 separate grants to 447 airports in 49 states, as well as American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.

Glendale Municipal in Arizona was granted $1.4m (£995,000) to restore the southern portion of its taxiway A pavement to enhance safety and minimise the risk of obstructing foreign objects.

Denver International in Colorado was also awarded $26.7m (£18.9m) to rehabilitate its pavements and light systems on in its runway to enhance operations during low-visibility conditions.

Other hubs that were granted funding include, Van Nuys, Bradley International, Valdosta Regional, Scott AFB/MidAmerica and Frederick Municipal.

“These grants represent the legacy and vital role of airport infrastructure grant programmes in helping the air transportation system operate safely,” explained Steve Dickson, FAA administrator. “Investing in our nation’s infrastructure through AIP grants is a cornerstone of our commitment to safety.”

The first programme to provide federal investment for airport infrastructure was established by president Harry Truman, when he signed the Federal Airport Act of 1946. Since that year, the FAA has presented more than 89,000 grants, totalling to $96bn (£68bn).

Each year, the improvement programme receives around $3.2 bn (£2.3bn) in congressional funding.

The airport improvement grants are an extension of last month’s announcement, where the FAA revealed that more than $600m (£426m) in funding would be granted to American bases through the programme.