Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airports will receive the first funding allocations for airport infrastructure projects under the American recovery and reinvestment act of 2009, the secretary of transport has confirmed.

The FAA will allocate $10m to Pittsburgh International Airport to repair Runway 14-32, one of four commercial service runways. The project includes grading, paving, marking signs, and lighting upgrades to the runway. Pittsburgh serves 4.8 million passengers a year.

US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said that the recovery act would help to support important key projects such as this.

“This is a critical investment in our nation’s airport infrastructure that will boost the local economy by providing jobs for Pittsburgh-area residents,” said LaHood.

The $2m allocation for Allegheny County, a general aviation airport, will renovate a taxiway and relocate a ramp. About 3,400 airports have been designated as eligible to receive Recovery Act funds.

Under the Act, the FAA received $1bn to allocate to qualified airports on a discretionary basis. That funding will be allocated based on a project priority system that addresses airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.

The recovery act also requires that 50% of the funds be obligated within 120 days, which is 17 June 2009.

By Daniel Garrun.