On July 7, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded nearly $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to renovate 85 airports across the country.
The grants expand capacity at our nation’s airport terminals, increase energy efficiency, promote competition and provide greater accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Building better airport terminals will improve customer experiences, move goods through the economy more efficiently to lower prices and enhance U.S. competitiveness.
Two grants will also be awarded to build and improve new air traffic control towers.
“Americans deserve modern airports that meet the needs of their families and growing passenger demand. Funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today’s grants will improve airport terminals while also creating good jobs in communities across the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Historically, the FAA has invested in runways, traffic-control towers and back-of-house infrastructure. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there is dedicated funding to support modernizing airport terminals across the country.
“The work that goes in to build safer, more accessible and sustainable terminals will provide opportunities for people across the nation. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a critical investment not only in our nation’s infrastructure, but an investment in the future of our country’s workforce,” said FAA Deputy Administrator A. Bradley Mims.
70 grants contain an element that will expand terminal capacity. Among them are:
- Pittsburgh International Airport (Pittsburgh, Pa.): $20 million to construct a new 700,000-square-foot landside terminal adjacent to the existing airside terminal and includes an improved passenger security screening checkpoint and checked baggage inspection system, baggage handling equipment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection area, and associated public spaces and support functions to serve passengers and meet the operational needs of the airport.
- Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (Chattanooga, Tenn.): $5 million for phase one of a terminal expansion project that will expand its second level by nearly 27,000 square feet to allow for two new gates, one expanded gate, a new set of restrooms, and additional passenger queuing, hold room and circulation space. This phase will also reorient the TSA Checkpoint to allow for an additional screening lane and expand the terminal rotunda sufficient to provide adequate passenger queuing space. The project will increase terminal capacity, improve ADA accessibility, increase energy efficiency, promote airline competition, and create jobs.
- Huntsville Intl-Carl T Jones Field (Huntsville, Ala.): $10 million to replace aging elevators, escalators, and mechanical equipment; adding one elevator and three escalators; constructing new terminal and concourse restrooms, family restrooms, nursing rooms, and a Service Animal Relief Area; expanding terminal public areas; and ticket counter modifications. The project will provide more amenities for passengers, increase capacity, achieve ADA compliance, improve energy efficiency, improve accessibility, and create construction jobs.
- Orlando International Airport (Orlando, Fla.): $50 million to construct four gates capable of serving either four wide body or eight narrow body aircraft. The project increases capacity, provides ADA-compliant facilities, achieves LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and provides for increased competition.
76 grants contain an element that will increase terminal sustainability. Among them are:
- Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (Texas): $35 million to construct a zero-carbon electrical central utility plant to assist the airport in achieving its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Phase 1 will construct the facility and cover two of five terminals.
- Boise Airport (Boise, Ida.): $960,000 to install energy efficient boilers to support Boise’s clean energy goal. The funds will also be used to replace aging skylight infrastructure with new skylights that will be more energy efficient.
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Seattle, Wash.): $10 million for Phase 3 of a restroom modernization that will be ADA compliant and include energy efficient lighting, low flow fixtures and refillable water bottle stations and service animal relief areas.
- Bishop International Airport (Flint, Mich.): $3.5 million to replace the terminal roof, which has failed in many places. It will be replaced with energy efficient materials, including improved insulation. This will result in decreased heating and cooling needs and reduce energy consumption.
47 grants contain an element that will go to improving airport access to historically disadvantaged populations and rural airports. Among them are:
- Dexter Regional Airport (Dexter, Maine): $760,000 to build a new 800 square foot terminal building replacing the existing 50-year-old 200 square foot terminal building. It includes the reconstruction of the access road. The existing terminal building is beyond its useful life and does not meet current standards or needs for a basic general aviation terminal building. It does not meet ADA requirements and energy efficiencies. The new terminal building will enhance and meet all these needs and requirements. This project provides access to improved terminal facilities for a disadvantage population area in this rural part of Maine.
- Washington Municipal Airport (AWG) Washington, Iowa: $129,675 to install a solar power system and associated electrical efficiency enhancements for the general aviation terminal.
- Chamberlain Municipal Airport (Chamberlain, S.D.): $855,000 to construct a new general aviation terminal. This project will replace an existing annex to a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) building that is currently being used as a general aviation terminal. The existing facility does not meet ADA requirement and does not meet the needs of the airport.
- Fillmore County Airport (Preston, Minn.): $950,000 to replace an existing facility that was constructed in the 1981 that is in poor condition and does not meet ADA requirements.
73 grants contain an element that provide greater access to individuals with disabilities. Among them are:
- Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (Phoenix, Az.): $14.4 million to expand and update existing temporary terminal space with a permanent five-gate ADA compliant facility.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (Minneapolis, Minn.): $7.1 million to replace five passenger boarding bridges and relocate one passenger boarding bridge. This project will modify walkways, ramps, and slopes to better utilize space and meet ADA requirements. The new boarding bridges will also be more energy efficient.
- Austin Bergstrom International Airport (Austin, Texas): $15 million to complete Phase 2, which includes needed capacity expansion immediately and infill for future expansion for the medium hub on the cusp of large hub. In addition to capacity, the project improves access with hearing loops, wayfinding, and multi-lingual assistance, plus assistive care restrooms and ADA compliance throughout. LEED Silver goal projects include energy efficient systems, glass tinting, and sustainable energy construction.
Two grants are awarded to airports to build new air traffic control towers. Those airports are:
- General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport (Peoria, Ill.): $15 million to construct a new air traffic control tower. The existing tower is 63 years old, in poor condition, and does not meet ADA standards. The new tower will meet all current building codes including ADA, and will utilize modern, energy efficient HVAC systems and lighting.
- Asheville Regional Airport (Asheville, N.C.): $15 million to construct a new air traffic control tower. This project replaces an existing 61-year-old air traffic control tower with a new, expanded facility. It is also an enabling project for the expansion and renovation of the existing terminal building. The project will enable increased terminal capacity, replace aging and obsolete infrastructure, improve airfield safety, upgrade the facility to ADA standards, and increase energy efficiency.
One grant will increase multimodal transportation access. That grant goes to the Gainesville Regional Airport in Gainesville, Florida. $1.67 million to improve a multi-modal ground transport facility. This project consists of multi-modal ground transport facility improvements, including lighted, accessible, covered walkways to the commercial airline terminal, a covered passenger waiting area, accessible restrooms, and queuing lanes for taxis and city busses arriving and departing the terminal. The project will reduce curbside congestion, increase ADA accessibility, improve accessibility for historically disadvantaged populations, and provide construction jobs.
This new funding is 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 grants.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, makes a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. It will rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rails, upgrade and expand public transit, modernize the nation’s ports and airports, improve safety, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice and invest in communities that have too often been left behind. It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably to help everyone get ahead for decades to come.
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay.