Biden Administration Announces Nearly $1B Funding for Airport Infrastructure

Busy passenger terminal at JFK airport.
Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With US air traffic poised to reach or beat pre-pandemic levels this year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding nearly $1 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 99 airports of all shapes and sizes across the country. 

Streamlining passenger flow

The funding helps meet the growing demand for air travel and invests in key areas to help get travelers in and out of airports more quickly.

The resultant upgrades will improve the passenger experience by investing in new baggage systems, larger security checkpoints and improved ground transportation.

Other projects will increase terminal sustainability and improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Several grants will address the needs of aging air traffic control towers.

The FAA has advised that the investments will go to airports in 47 states and two territories.

“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,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

A TSA checkpoint at an international airport terminal.
Photo Credit: Michael Ball, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

“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.”

Investments in 47 states and 2 territories

Here, you can view a data visualization of the US airports which will be receiving funding. 

“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,” said Deputy FAA Administrator A. Bradley Mims.

These awards are on top of the $1 billion for Airport terminals announced for 85 airports last year. The vast majority of those projects are under construction. 

Many grants contain an element that will build new or expanded terminal facilities. Among them are:

$10.8 million to Des Moines International Airport in Des Moines, Iowa: This project replaces the 1948 terminal that is beyond its useful life and operating above capacity.

Recent data shows aeronautical demand at 109 percent of pre-pandemic levels. This project offers opportunities to strengthen climate resilience and create good paying jobs. This phase includes the preparation and construction of the terminal foundation.

$29 million to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) in Salt Lake City, Utah: The New SLC is a phased Terminal and North Concourse Redevelopment Program which replaces aging and capacity-constrained facilities.

This award funds a portion of Phase 4 of the New SLC and includes 16 new gates as well as up to five permanent hardstand positions in Concourse B.

Many grants contain an element that will make passenger check-in more efficient by improving security-screening areas. Examples are:

$10 million to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport in Sarasota, Fla.: This award funds a portion of a terminal expansion project that adds new passenger security screening checkpoint lanes, five gates and a new energy-efficient central energy plant. This will help travelers get through security more quickly. 

$50 million to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Ill.: This award helps fund a project to rehabilitate and expand passenger access for the 60-year-old Terminal 3.

This includes a reconfigured Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint, improvements to the central passenger corridor, new Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliant and family restrooms.

It will also allow for upgrades to the passenger baggage system to help get travelers in and out of O’Hare more quickly.

The funding will come from the Airport Terminal Program, one of three aviation programs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The law provides $1 billion annually for five years for Airport Terminal Program grants. In total, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided a historic $25 billion to modernize our country’s airport infrastructure.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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