Feds handing out millions in airport ‘improvement’ grants

A view of Salt Lake City International Airport. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded more than $431.8 million in grants to upgrade airports across the United States.

The funding from the final round of Fiscal Year 2021 Airport Improvement Program grants will pay for projects at 60 airports in 31 states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. View an interactive map with all the awards.

“With today’s awards, the FAA has provided $3.2 billion in airports funds this year to improve safety, environmental stewardship, and accessibility,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said. “These grants support airport infrastructure across our National Airspace System, providing federal investment to communities of all sizes, from remote areas to major metropolitan cities.”

The projects included in this round of grants do not have to pay the usual local match given the nearly $100 million provided in the law.

Announced grants are:

  • Albuquerque International Sunport, Albuquerque, N.M.: $7.1 million to buy zero-emissions passenger shuttle buses and charging equipment, low-emission airport pre-conditioned air units, low-emission airport ground power units and to reconstruct a taxiway.
  • Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Bozeman, Mont.: $5.0 million to construct a 28,800 square-yard general aviation parking area.
  • Bismarck Municipal Airport, Bismarck, N.D.: $5.6 million to install airfield drainage and storm sewer improvements. This grant funds the seventh phase of a project to move approximately 60 acres of wetlands from the airport property to 11 miles east of the airport, which reduces the risk of wildlife/aircraft strikes at the airport while maintaining valuable wetland areas.
  • Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Fort Worth, Texas: Two grants totaling $35 million. The first, for $30.7 million, pays two replacement aircraft rescue and firefighting buildings to help the airport meet FAA safety requirements. The second, for $4.3 million, will be used to buy zero-emissions passenger shuttle buses and charging infrastructure.
  • Denver International Airport, Denver, Colo.: $8.7 million to support Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) projects for airport air quality improvements.
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Mich.: $35.6 million to enhance overall airfield safety by reconstructing a taxiway. This is the first phase of a project to reconstruct 6,700 feet of existing taxiway pavement to eliminate potential debris from deteriorating pavement and remove a direct connection between an apron and a runway.
  • Gallatin Airport, Sparta, Ky.: $7.9 million to fund the third of four phases of a new airport in Gallatin County, Ky. This phase paves and marks 5,000 feet of the primary runway, 1,800 feet of taxiways, and 75,000 square yards of the terminal apron and constructs 3,200 feet of terminal access road.
  • Grand Junction Regional Airport, Grand Junction, Colo.: $15.7 million to construct a new 10,500-foot replacement runway to meet FAA standards, including grading and drainage features.
  • Memphis International Airport, Memphis, Tenn.: $24.8 million to build a deicing pad with associated facilities as part of the overall airport modernization project.
  • Metlakatla Airport, Metlakatla, Alaska: $6.5 million to repair the seaplane base so it can be used to safely transport goods and services to remote communities in Alaska, including the Metlakatla Indian Community on Annette Island in southern Alaska.
  • Sacramento International Airport, Sacramento, Calif.: $4.6 million to buy zero-emissions passenger shuttle buses and associated charging equipment.
  • Tampa International Airport, Tampa, Fla.: $3.8 million to buy zero-emissions passenger shuttle buses and associated charging equipment.
  • Venice Municipal Airport, Venice, Fla.: $2.1 million to extend a taxiway to 5,000 feet.
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