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U.S. Airports Secure $250 Million Boost for Infrastructure Upgrades

Investments will be made into maintaining the safety or runways and taxiways as well as the expansion of terminal buildings to accommodate growing passenger numbers

by Fergus Cole

February 1, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Midway Airport

Airports across the U.S. will receive almost $250 million in extra funding from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in 2024 to modernize the nation’s aviation infrastructure, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has confirmed.

A total of 150 Airport Infrastructure Grants (AIG) amounting to $243.7 million will be awarded to airports and airfields across 37 states this financial year, with major hubs like Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) as well as smaller regional airfields set to benefit.

Photo: Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

The funding is part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will be invested in critical airport infrastructure, such as runways and terminal buildings, to improve safety, meet surging passenger demand, address environmental commitments, and create jobs.

To date, the Biden Administration has announced more than $415 billion in funding to over 46,000 infrastructure projects across the country, with almost $9 billion being AIGs.

“We saw a record number of passengers fly during the recent holiday season, and we can expect increased demand for air travel to continue,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These investments from the Biden-Harris administration are making it possible to modernize our country’s aging airport infrastructure to meet this demand today and ensure safe, efficient travel into the future.”

The largest grant is being awarded to American Airlines’ primary hub airport—Dallas-Fort Worth International—with $45 million invested into the maintenance of 13,400 feet of runway.

Photo: American Airlines gates. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Other significant grants include an $18 million package to facilitate a 16,000 square-foot expansion of the existing terminal building at Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT) in Alaska and $15.2 million towards the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 10,200 feet of runway and 668 feet of taxiway at California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT).

Meanwhile, a $5.5 million grant will go towards constructing a new 295,000-square-foot, six-gate terminal building at Des Moines International Airport (DSM). A further $70 million is awarded to 11 other airport terminal projects.

According to the FAA, passenger safety is its ‘utmost priority.’ With the volume of passengers rising at airports up and down the country, many grants are going towards maintaining safety standards and reducing the risk of runway incursions. Such projects will include amending taxiways that could cause confusion and installing new lighting systems to aid pilots.

Photo: New York-LaGuardia Airport. Courtesy of Mohit Kumar / Unsplash

A large number of mid-sized and small regional airports will receive this kind of investment, including Willow Run Airport (YIP) in Michigan, Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) in Wisconsin, Birmingham-Shuttlewsorth International Airport (BHM) in Alabama, and San Bernardino International Airport (SBD) in California.

FAA Associate Administrator for Airports Shannetta R. Griffin, P.E., said: “Collectively, these grants help airports across the nation make timely improvements to key critical infrastructure, which ensures passengers have a safe, efficient, and enjoyable experience as they travel.”