FAA Grants Millions For Airport Improvements

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The FAA has announced its annual grants to support airport improvements around the country. To find out what to expect at your local airports, click here to download the official FAA spreadsheet (XLS). Most of the awards are for well under a million dollars, and fund projects such as resurfacing a runway or acquiring snow-removal equipment. Some are more ambitious, such as $24,302,112 for a new runway at Chicago O'Hare, and $16,100,000 to build a fire and rescue building at the Marshall Islands International Airport. The grants also will fund construction of three new airports, two in Alaska and one in Utah.

The FAA's Airport Improvement Program provides grants for the planning and development of public-use airports, heliports and seaplane bases, including some that are privately owned. For general aviation airports, the grant covers 95 percent of eligible costs. Projects that enhance airport safety, capacity, security, and environmental concerns are eligible for funding. Early versions of federal airport grants date back to 1946, but the current program was established by the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982. Funds for the grants are drawn from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is supported by user fees, fuel taxes and other similar revenue sources.