The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced the award of more than $898.9 million in infrastructure and safety projects through the FY2021 Airport Improvement Program (AIP). This total includes $113.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to award all grants at a 100-percent federal share.
“Investing in our nation’s infrastructure is how our country helped spark an aviation industry that now supports millions of jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “These Airport Improvement Program grants will help modernize America’s airports and ensure that our air transportation system remains the safest and most efficient in the world.”
Grant projects funded through the Airport Improvement Program promote safety, efficiency, environmental stewardship, infrastructure, and security at the nation’s airports. The May 13 announcement includes 488 grants to 447 airports in 49 states and American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.
“These grants represent the legacy and vital role of airport infrastructure grant programs in helping the air transportation system operate safely,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “Investing in our nation’s infrastructure through AIP grants is a cornerstone of our commitment to safety.”
Examples of airports receiving grants in this round of funding include Scott AFB/MidAmerica, Belleville, Illinois, which will receive more than $12.6 million for expanding the terminal building to accommodate existing passenger demand and meet security and American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The airport has seen an increase in enplanements from 20,000 in 2015 to more than 150,000 in 2018. The security checkpoint is being relocated to the first floor of the terminal and expanded by an additional lane to meet Transportation Security Administration design requirements.
Meanwhile, Canada has launched two new contribution funding programs to help Canada’s airports recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program (ACIP) is a new program providing close to $490 million to financially assist Canada’s larger airports with investments in critical infrastructure-related to safety, security or connectivity. The Airport Relief Fund (ARF) is a new program providing almost $65 million in financial relief to targeted Canadian airports to help maintain operations.
In addition to launching these two new funding programs, Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) is receiving a funding top-up of $186 million over two years. The ACAP is an existing contribution funding program which provides financial assistance to Canada’s local and regional airports for safety-related infrastructure projects and equipment purchases.