U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine L. Chao recently announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded $205 million in supplemental funding for infrastructure grants to small airports in 34 states. More than half of these airports serve rural communities and mostly general aviation. This funding is in addition to the $3.31 billion already awarded in regular Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding during fiscal year 2018.
This $205 million in Airport Improvement Program grants directly addresses the need for improved aviation infrastructure especially in rural communities, said Secretary Chao.
This first increment of supplemental funding provides grants to projects at 37 airports. These projects include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals. The construction and equipment supported by this funding increases the airports safety, capacity and related issues. These improvements could support further potential growth and development within each airports region.
Congress provided the supplemental funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. The FAA published a Federal Register notice on July 9, 2018, which explained the statutory rules, evaluation criteria, and the submission process. The remainder of the $1 billion will be awarded during fiscal years 2019 and 2020, based on requests submitted by October 31.
Under the Secretary’s leadership, the FAA is administering the supplemental program in coordination with the regular annual AIP grant program to strengthen the safety and efficiency of Americas airports. U.S. infrastructure, especially its 3,300 airports increases the country’s competitiveness and improves the traveling publics quality of life. According to the FAAs most recent economic analysis, U.S. civil aviation accounts for $1.6trillion in total economic activity and supports nearly 11 million jobs.
According to the FAA, in the March 2018 funding bill, Congress provided historic levels of funding for infrastructure investments across America. Following the increase in funding this fiscal year, the Department will invest $10 billion in new transportation infrastructure. The DOT is committed to rebalancing investment in historically-neglected rural America.