The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded $477m in airport infrastructure grants to upgrade 264 airports in 44 states, the Pacific Islands, and the District of Columbia.

This is the third allocation of the total $3.18bn in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding.

In May, the US Government approved a $779m funding package to modernise 127 airports in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico.

US Transportation Secretary Elaine L Chao said: “Infrastructure projects funded by these grants will advance safety, improve travel, generate jobs and provide other economic benefits for local communities.”

Selected airports will use the funds for reconstruction and rehabilitation of runways, building firefighting facilities, and for the maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals.

Overall, the funding is aimed at improving the airports’ safety, emergency response capabilities, and capacity.

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As part of the funding assistance, Des Moines International Airport will get $4.77m to reconstruct an apron and taxiway, while Chicago Rockford Airport will receive nearly $11.3m to rehabilitate a runway and taxiway.

MBS International Airport in Michigan will receive around $4.65m to construct a taxiway, while St Paul International in Minneapolis will be given over $9.7m to construct a taxiway, improve the runway safety area, and install taxiway lighting and runway incursion markings.

Portsmouth International at Pease in New Hampshire will be offered almost $13.5m to reconstruct a runway, while Missoula International will be awarded over $9.2m to construct a terminal building.

The US civil aviation makes up for $1.6tn in total economic activity and supports approximately 11 million jobs, as per the FAA’s most recent economic analysis.

Chao further said that airport infrastructure in the US supports the US’ economic competitiveness and improves quality of life.