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Biden Administration Grants $1 Billion for Airport Modernization

Grants have been awarded to Washington-Dulles, Chicago O'Hare, LAX, and Denver International airports, among others

by Fergus Cole

February 15, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of Tampa International Airport

The Biden administration has announced that almost $1 billion will be awarded to 114 airports across 44 states and three territories, with the grants going towards funding a wide range of infrastructure projects designed to modernize the nation’s airports and improve the passenger experience.

The announcement was made as part of the government’s Investment in America tour, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants coming from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

This latest package will involve $970 million being awarded to airports across the U.S., adding to the almost $2 billion that has already been awarded to airport infrastructure projects over the last two years.

Washington-Dulles On Top

One of the biggest winners of this latest announcement is Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), which will receive a grant of $35 million to construct a new 14-gate, 400,000-square-foot concourse.

The new terminal building will replace the current 40-year-old facility and include connections to the Aerotrain and Metrorail, vastly improving the airport’s connectivity to Washington, D.C.

Photo: Courtesy of Washington Dulles

Other grants for improving airport terminal buildings include $20 million for the expansion of Concourse B at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) and $10 million for the rehabilitation and expansion of the existing terminal building at Fargo’s Hector International Airport (FAR).

O’Hare Welcomes $40 million

Meanwhile, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) will receive a $40 million grant towards various improvements at Terminal 3. This includes the expansion of the central passenger corridor, a refurbished TSA checkpoint, a new hold room and Americans with Disabilities (ADA)-compliant restroom, and an updated baggage system.

Photo: Courtesy of Chicago O’Hare Airport

Denver International Airport (DEN) is also replacing its baggage handling system. It will receive a grant of $26.6 million towards it, while $8.6 million is being given to Hawaii’s Kahului Airport (OGG) to construct a new two-story TSA checkpoint.

San Francisco and Los Angeles

Some of the grants will also focus on increasing sustainability, including $31 million towards the replacement of critical mechanical and electrical components at San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) International Terminal and $27 million towards the replacement of up to 16 Passenger Boarding Bridges and their Ground Power Units and Pre-Conditioned Air units at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).

Photo: Courtesy of San Francisco International Airport.

Another portion of grants will go towards the improvement of transportation systems and roadways around airports, including $31 million to enhance the roads surrounding Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and $7 million towards the construction of a new road connecting the North and South terminals at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).

“Under this administration, we are doing more to improve the travel experience than ever before, from expanding consumer protections to modernizing the physical infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“These investments we’re announcing today, made possible by President Biden’s historic infrastructure package, will make it easier for passengers to get to and through airports, create jobs, and increase safety for all.”

FAA Associate Administrator for Airports, Shannetta R. Griffin, P.E., added: “Today’s funding not only helps modernize airports to meet the needs of travelers today and for years to come but also creates good-paying job opportunities in communities both large and small.”