The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced nearly $1bn in funding for 99 airports across the country. These funds will be provided by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The aim is to help US airports cope with increasing traffic, which is expected to reach or surpass pre-pandemic levels this year.
FAA deputy administrator A Bradley Mims said: “Today’s funding doesn’t just improve airport terminals. It creates opportunities in communities large and small for good-paying jobs and a chance to be part of our country’s thriving aviation sector.”
The financing will support investments in new baggage systems, ground transportation, and larger security checkpoints. It will also be used to meet the needs of ageing air traffic control towers at airports in 47 states and two territories.
The grant will also be used to build new or expand terminal facilities, improve access to other modes of transportation or enhance roadways, and strengthen accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
It will also go towards upgrading airport access in smaller communities and terminal sustainability. Among the fund’s recipients include O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, which has been allocated $50m to rehabilitate and expand passenger access for Terminal 3.
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Maryland, secured $38m to finance part of the Concourse A and B expansion while Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in Texas received $35m to fund the phase two deployment of the Zero Carbon Electric Central Utility Plant (eCUP).
These grants are on top of the $1bn allocated for terminal upgrades at 85 airports last July. Meanwhile, the FAA awarded more than $76.2m to 85 airports in 28 states last November to support winter operations.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “Americans deserve the best airports in the world, and with demand for air travel surging back, this funding to improve the passenger experience couldn’t come at a more urgent time.
“These grants will make it faster and easier to check your bags, get through security and find your gate, all while creating jobs and supporting local economies.”