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Nearly $1B More Awarded To Airports

The Biden-Harris administration announced the latest round of funding for airports from the bipartisan infrastructure law. The funding – $970 million to 114 airports – is from the Airport Terminal Program, one of three aviation programs created by the law. This latest funding  comes on the heels of more than $240 million in funding for Airport Infrastructure Grants. In total, the law provides $1 billion annually for five years for Airport Terminal Program grants.

These awards are on top of the nearly $2 billion for airport terminals announced over the past two years. The vast majority of these terminal projects are under construction.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said the funding helps meet the growing demand for air travel and launches projects that will improve passenger experience, accessibility, and sustainability while creating good-paying jobs. Investments enhancing the passenger experience include new baggage systems, larger security checkpoints, increasing gate capacity, and modernizing aging infrastructure throughout terminals and ground transportation. These investments further increase terminal sustainability and improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Nine grants will address the needs of aging air traffic control towers.

“Under this administration, we are doing more to improve the travel experience than ever before, from expanding consumer protections to modernizing the physical infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Many of the new grants contain an element that will build new or expanded terminal facilities. These include a $35 million award to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) to fund a portion of the construction of a 14-gate, 400,000 sq. ft. terminal building including connections to the Aerotrain and Metrorail; a $20 million award to Salt Lake City International (SLC) to fund a portion of the Concourse B terminal expansion that will include 16 gates; and $10 million to Hector International Airport (FAR) to fund a portion of the rehabilitation and expansion of the existing terminal.

The DOT noted that many grants contain an element that will improve the passenger experience by improving security-screening areas, providing faster and more reliable baggage systems, and increasing accessibility for passengers with disabilities. For example, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) received $40 million to increase the central passenger corridor width, reconfigure a TSA checkpoint and fund other improvements; Denver International Airport (DEN) was awarded $26.6 million to fund a portion of its baggage handling system replacement and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) was awarded $1.5 million for the  installation of 110 audio and visual monitors and stations throughout the terminal to better serve the passengers.

Other grants will help airports increase access to other modes of transportation or improve roadways, refurbish airport-owned air traffic control towers, increase terminal sustainability and improve airport access in smaller communities.