The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted $243.7m to airports across the country as it looks to modernise infrastructure and improve safety through its Airport Infrastructure Grants (AIG).
Utilising funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the FAA has approved 150 grants across 37 states including many focussing on reducing the risk of runway incursions, building on existing funding put towards the issue after reports that close call incidents were happening several times per week.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg 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 modernize our country’s ageing airport infrastructure to meet this demand today and ensure safe, efficient travel into the future.”
Some of the biggest grants included in the 2024 round of AIG funding include a $45m rehabilitation of the 13,400ft runway 17R/35L at Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport in Texas, and an $18m grant towards the 16,000 square feet expansion of the terminal building at Sitka Rocky Guttierrez airport in Alaska.
Ontario International Airport in California will receive $15.2m to rehabilitate its 10,200ft runway 8R/26L and reconstruct Taxiway S8.
Willow Run Airport, Michigan, Dane County Regional Airport, Wisconsin, and San Bernardino International Airport, California will also receive funds towards runway constructions and rehabilitations.
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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has seen billions of dollars put into modernising and strengthening airport infrastructure since it was passed in November 2021, including a $1bn round of FAA funding in February 2023.
Through the AIG program, the FAA has granted almost $9bn to US airports since 2022, while another $4bn has been allocated from the law into runways, taxiways, safety, sustainability and terminal projects.
The FAA has also stepped up its efforts on avoiding runway close calls following a New York Times report on the issue, with safety meetings held at 90 airports during 2023 and a focus on speeding up the recruitment of the air traffic controllers needed following a slowdown in training during the Covid-19 pandemic.