US government announces $245mn in funding to modernise airports in 37 states

US government announces $245mn in funding to modernise airports in 37 states

Airports across 37 US states will benefit from more than $245mn in funding from the US government to modernise infrastructure, improve runway safety and create jobs.

Yesterday evening (GMT), it was announced that the government will award the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the funding, which includes 153 grants, under its Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Pete Buttigieg, US transportation secretary, said: “We saw a record number of passengers fly during the recent holiday season, and we can expect increased demand for air travel to continue.

“These investments from the Biden-Harris administration are making it possible to modernise our country’s ageing airport infrastructure to meet this demand today and ensure safe, efficient travel into the future.”

Over the last decade, funding inconsistencies have delayed the ability to modernise technology and infrastructure that support the airspace, according to the FAA.

The regulator added that this newly-announced funding is helping “reverse” this “trend” to ensure that American air travel remains the safest and most efficient in the world.

Shannetta R. Griffin, P.E., associate administrator for airports at the FAA, 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.”

The funding is hoped to improve safety by reducing the risk of runway incursions. Some of the airports receiving grants will reconfigure taxiways that may cause confusion and install new lighting systems.

These airports include Willow Run Airport in Van Buren Township in Michigan, Dane County Regional Airport in Madison in Wisconsin and Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International in Alabama.

Amongst the airports receiving the largest grants are Dallas-Fort Worth International in Texas which will receive $45mn to improve 13,400ft of Runway 17R/35L, and Sitka Rocky Gutierrez in Alaska which will be awarded $18mn to expand the existing terminal building by an additional 16,000 square feet.

The FAA said some airports will also use the funding to construct or improve fuel farms, and purchase or acquire aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles.

Image credit: Maurice Norbert/Adobe Stock