On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it would be awarding $1 billion in grants for airports as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The FAA said that applications are being accepted for airport projects that fund safe, sustainable, and accessible airport terminals, on-airport rail access, and airport-owned airport traffic control tower projects.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to not just build new airport terminals, but build them in a way that brings opportunity to forgotten communities, increases competition, and reduces environmental impact,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Airports operated by authorities, cities, territories, and tribes within the national air transportation system would be eligible, the FAA said. Large hub airports will receive up to 55 percent of the total funding, while medium hub airports will receive up to 15 percent of the funding, and small hubs will receive up to 20 percent of the funding. The remaining 10 percent of the funding will go to non-hub and non-primary airports.
“This historic new terminal program will allow our airports to build state-of-the-art facilities that are resilient to climate change impacts and achieve environmental sustainably,” said Associate Administrator of Airports Shannetta Griffin.
U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rick Larsen (D-WA), chair of the subcommittee on Aviation, lauded the announcement.
“As air travel rebounds from the tumult of the pandemic, this announcement of $1 billion in long-overdue funding for terminal upgrades is welcome news,” the Chairs said in a statement. “These investments will increase capacity, expand accessibility for people with disabilities, reduce our carbon footprint, and improve airfield safety, all while creating good-paying jobs. Airports are critical to commerce, our supply chains, and everyday life—helping both passengers and businesses alike thrive.”
The FAA said priority will be given to projects that improve airfield safety through terminal relocation, as well as ones that replace aging facilities, increase capacity, encourage competition, improve energy efficiency (including LEED accreditation standards) and increase or improve access for passengers with disabilities and historically disadvantaged populations. The agency said that projects that relocate, reconstruct, repair, and improve an air traffic control tower owned by the airport are also eligible.
Applications are due by March 28, 2022.