Airports throughout the U.S. land millions of dollars for multitude of projects
On Aug. 14 and 21 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded a total of $445 million in airport infrastructure grants. On Aug. 14 a total of 72 airports in 31 states received grants as part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP). On Aug. 21 a total of 67 airports in 29 states received grants.
To date this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced more than 1,428 new grants to nearly 1,210 airports for a total of $2.3 billion. These grants will provide funds for 581 runway projects and 490 taxiway projects that are important to the safety and efficiency of the nation’s system of airports. Airports are entitled to a certain amount of AIP funding each year, based on passenger volume. If their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, then the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.
The first phase of a 2.2-mile long runway repaving project at the Portsmouth International Airport at Pease in New Hampshire will ultimately cost about $25 million. The project is a joint venture of the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Aeronautics, FAA, Pease Development Authority, which oversees the airport as part of Pease International Tradeport, and the New Hampshire Air National Guard, which bases the 157th Air Refueling Wing at the airport. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation will spend about $885,000 from an FAA grant toward the design phase of the runway project. The design phase includes surveying, mapping and figuring out the logistics of how to remove and replace the concrete at both ends and the pavement along the 11,321-foot stretch of runway while it’s being used. The design end of the project will cost about $1.3 million.
The runways at Pittsfield Municipal Airport in Massachusetts need repair and the FAA has provided a $6.6 million grant for the project. Work will start in April 2018, forcing the airport to close or restrict landings until it’s completed in the summer.
The Pittsburgh International Airport in Pennsylvania received $ 12.3 million to rehab one of the pads used to de-ice planes. The Charlie pad, on the north side of the airfield, has been in operation since 1993 and is one of four de-icing pads at the airport. The total project cost is $27 million, which includes paving, the piping and fluid collections system and storage tanks. The work will take place next summer and shouldn’t affect airport operations.
The Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania has received a $10.9 million federal grant to support runway reconstruction. The money will be used for next summer’s phase of the multi-year runway reconstruction project. Work has included tree removal on the approach path to the east end of the runway, and reconstruction on the west end of the runway is underway this summer. Work on the east end will take place next summer and the project will wrap up with work on the central portion during the summer of 2019.
Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia International Airport will receive a $16.5 million federal grant to extend its main east-west runway from 10,500 feet to 12,000 feet. When it is completed, the runway, known as 9-Right, 27-Left, will be one of the longest on the East Coast.
The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority accepted four grants totaling more than $2.7 million from the FAA. The largest of the grants, $1.4 million, will go toward upgrades for Lehigh Valley International Airport’s main runway in Pennsylvania. The runway was last renovated in 1999. The airport will be widening the 7,600-foot long runway by 50 feet and relocating runway edge lights to comply with federal guidelines. Other enhancements include changing the grading and relocating drainage points so water doesn’t pool on the runway. There are also plans to make the runway thicker to allow for more wear and tear from larger cargo flights. The construction is expected to cost about $40 million, with the FAA picking up about 90 percent of the cost. To avoid having to close down the runway for six months to make repairs, the project will last up to four years. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2018.
Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Illinois received a $3.4 million grant to rehabilitate the airport service roads. Construction will start next fall on repairs to roads that get a lot of traffic from snow removal equipment, mobile refueling trucks and rescue vehicles.
The Marion Municipal Airport in Ohio received a grant of $107,613.90 to pay for 90 percent of the cost of architectural designs for the proposed new terminal. The Marion City Council authorized an additional 5 percent and the Ohio Department of Transportation contributed the remaining 5 percent. The plan is to build a 4,800-square-foot terminal to the north of the old one. Accurate estimates of what it would cost to build a terminal will be presented in 2018 following the design process.
A grant from the FAA in the amount of $2 million has been awarded to the Albert J. Ellis Airport in North Carolina. The grant will be used toward constructing an air traffic control tower at the airport.
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia will receive a $15.8 million infrastructure grant from the FAA to fund the first phase of construction on the Runway 9 Left end-around taxiway.
The Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut received approval for a $28.9 million grant from the FAA. The funds will be used to reconstruct the airport’s runway. The upgrades are not meant to expand the runway or to accommodate larger planes. The runway needs to be replaced every 20 years and the airport is being proactive in undertaking the project. Work will begin in late October.
The Miami International Airport received a $23.5 million grant to reconstruct the airport’s taxiway R, which is needed in order to accommodate future cargo demand at the airport. The taxiway will introduce additional capacity and improve safety and efficiency of airplanes operating to and from Runway 12-30. Miami International Airport is America’s second-busiest airport for international passengers and over 44.6 million travelers passed through its terminals in 2016. The airport ranks 10th in the U.S for total passengers and the 30th in the world.
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