airplane WEB 300x200 Seeking opportunities to partner with government? Don’t overlook airports!The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced in August that $766 million in grant funding is available to airports for improvement projects. But, there’s much more. Funding is flowing to airports from numerous sources, and the types of projects ready for launch are extremely diverse.

Of high interest to the federal government are purchases of zero-emission vehicles, electrifying equipment, pre-conditioned air units to service aircraft, and electric shuttle buses. Examples follow.

Manhattan city commissioners will expand a runway at the Manhattan Regional Airport to accommodate larger aircraft takeoffs. Airport officials plan to solicit construction bids early in 2022, and the estimated cost of this project is $51.1 million. A federal grant of $350,000 has been obtained to jump-start the project.

The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport will benefit from several expansion projects. The airport is experiencing record setting growth. Planned projects include an expansion of the airport’s terminal, several new restaurants, and enhancements related to rental cars and ground transportation areas. Construction projects include a new, standalone customs facility and a new terminal with five gates with an estimated cost between $30 million and $50 million. Plans include construction of a second level to the terminal that will offer more gates. That project has an estimated cost of $70 million to $100 million. Finally, an observation area will be constructed so people may watch plans come and go.

Officials at the Steamboat Springs Airport have a new Airport Master Plan that has approval by the FAA and support of the Steamboat Springs City Council. The plan outlines proposed projects that include a connector taxiway and taxi lane at an estimated cost of $5.86 million. It includes hangar development areas at costs that reach approximately $75,000 and a parallel taxiway for aircraft for $47.8 million.

The FAA will invest $85 million in airport infrastructure throughout Alaska. Project funding will come through the Airport Improvement Program. Bethel Airport will receive a large grant of $34.3 million to reinforce the strength of the runway and reconstruct and rehabilitate the taxiway. Additionally, $20.7 million is available for the Atqasuk Edward Burnell Sr. Memorial Airport for gravel pavement repairs and airfield infrastructure improvements.

Kearney Regional Airport officials plan to use $16.9 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support construction of a new airport terminal that will be three times larger than the current facility. Although the total cost of the project has not been determined, Kearney’s assistant city manager stated that bids for construction will be underway early in 2022. The new terminal will be a collaborative effort between the city of Kearney, FAA, the Transportation Security Administration, and Kearney’s commercial airline.

West Virginia
Yeager Airport’s governing board has authorized a $370,000 study to identify the most appropriate airport terminal building concept to serve the needs of passengers. The board has yet to decide whether the existing terminal should be expanded or a new terminal should be built. Additionally, there are calls to relocate Taxiway A to improve safety.

Georgia senators announced last month that $13.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding will be allocated to airports throughout the state. The Augusta Regional at Bush Field Airport has been allocated $1.32 million for rehabilitation of 41,500 square yards of existing air carrier and apron pavements. Additionally, the Middle Georgia Regional Airport will receive $1.32 million for a runway extension that will ensure compliance with FAA regulations. The Georgia State Block Grant Program will distribute $8.25 million to nonprimary airports for various projects.

The governor of Minnesota signed a state transportation budget in late June that grants $5.6 million to the city of Karlstad to fund a 4,000-foot paved runway at the airport. Additional funding will come from the federal government to increase the runway to 4,700 feet. The Karlstad Airport board is seeking land for the project, and once that task is completed, solicitations will be released so construction may begin.

North Dakota
Officials at the Hector International Airport in Fargo are planning a major passenger terminal expansion in 2023. A $500,000 study will begin soon. The airport authority has additional projects for 2022 with estimated costs of $19 million. Those projects include a $7 million initiative to replace a concrete apron for aircraft and a $1.2 million project for construction of a parking lot exit plaza. New parking entry equipment will be installed, an extra overflow parking area will be constructed, and a new boarding bridge will be built.


Upcoming airport projects will include planning, architectural and engineering work, construction, technology, landscaping, and dozens of additional services. When the anticipated infrastructure bill passes, additional funding will be available for even more airport projects. And, if the American Job Plan passes, more funding will be available for airport projects tied to clean air, transportation sustainability, and more.

Mary Scott Nabers

As President and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., Mary Scott Nabers has decades of experience working in the public-private sector. A well-recognized expert in the P3 and government contracting fields, she is often asked to share her industry insights with top publications and through professional speaking engagements.