Airports get $1bn in infrastructure grants

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that it will award nearly $1 billion to 99 airport terminal projects under the 2021 infrastructure law, which totals $1 trillion. The funding is aimed at supporting airports that are over capacity and at investing in new baggage systems, larger security checkpoints, and better ground transportation to help improve the passenger experience. The grants will be used to meet the growing demand for air travel and to get travelers in and out of airports more quickly. This is the second phase of funding for airport terminal projects, with 85 airports having been awarded funds last year.

Among the recipients of the funding are the Des Moines International Airport in Iowa, which will receive $10.8 million to replace its 1948 terminal, and Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah, which will receive $29 million for its terminal and concourse redevelopment program. The FAA’s funding announcement follows the United States’ investment in the refurbishment and expansion of aging airports that were often criticized, with former Vice President Joe Biden having once compared New York’s LaGuardia airport to “some third-world country”. Last year, New York celebrated the $8 billion reconstruction of LaGuardia airport.

The FAA has also granted approval for the construction of a new $4.2 billion terminal at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and for an $8.5 billion project at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, which includes a new Terminal 2. On Monday, O’Hare was awarded $50 million to help rehabilitate and expand passenger access for the 60-year-old Terminal 3. The Department of Transportation also announced that Sarasota Bradenton in Florida would receive $10 million to fund new passenger security screening checkpoint lanes and gates, while Savannah/Hilton Head in Georgia won $6.5 million for a 23,000-square-foot security screening checkpoint expansion project to help reduce wait times.

The 2021 infrastructure law dedicates $25 billion to airport projects over the next five years. The FAA’s latest round of funding demonstrates a commitment to rebuilding and modernising airports in the United States, a move that is expected to provide significant benefits to travelers and the economy at large.

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