The Biden administration will grant nearly $1 billion to 85 airports throughout the country to improve terminals, the White House announced this week.
The money being used comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which included the Airport Terminal Program that will provide $5 billion over a five year period for terminal projects as part of an overall budget of $20 billion for airport infrastructure.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement that he believes the funding will help the growing number of Americans traveling, as well as create more jobs at airports.
“Americans deserve modern airports that meet the needs of their families and growing passenger demand," Buttigieg said. "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."
Buttigieg added that it's very clear airports in the United States need to be upgraded to meet the demands of travelers.
“I don’t think anybody could look at airports across America today and say that the existing system and existing levels of funding have been adequate,” Buttigieg told reporters, according to the Associated Press.
“America is a country that brought the modern aviation age to the world. And yet around the world, in most rankings of airport quality, not one of our airports ranks among the top 25. That's something that we have to change," Buttigieg told reporters, according to Forbes.
In the past, the Federal Aviation Administration has used funding to improve other areas in airports, such as runways, traffic-control towers, and back-of-house infrastructure, the White House noted. FAA Deputy Administrator A. Bradley Mims said in a statement that the funding is a necessary investment in American airports.
"The work that goes in to build safer, more accessible and sustainable terminals will provide opportunities for people across the nation," Mims said. "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."
There were 532 airports that submitted applications for a total of 658 projects, the FAA said, per AP. If all of those projects had been approved, it would have cost more than $14 billion.
Seventy-six grants will increase terminal sustainability, including $35 million towards the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, $10 million for the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and $3.5 million towards the Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan.
47 other grants will help improve airport access to historically disadvantaged populations and rural airports, including Fillmore County Airport in Minnesota.
Additionally, there are 73 grants that will provide greater access to individuals with disabilities at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport in Texas ($15 million), the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport ($14.4 million), and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport ($7.1 million).
Lastly, there are two $15 million grants to build new air traffic control towers at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport in Peoria, IL and the Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina. There is also one grant ($1.67 million) to increase multimodal transportation access at the Gainesville Regional Airport in Florida.
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