On May 15, 2019, the FAA announced the intent to award $779 million in supplemental federal infrastructure grants to 127 airports in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Three Colorado public-use airports were included in the list of U.S. airports slated for additional federal funding. These Colorado airports include the Alamosa-San Luis Valley Regional Airport (ALS), Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE), and the Wray Municipal Airport (2V5). Projects funded through the selected grants include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, and the maintenance of taxiway, aprons, terminals, and related infrastructure.
This funding is in addition to the $3.31 billion awarded in FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding during fiscal year 2018, and $205 million awarded in the first portion of supplemental AIP funding in September 2018. The construction and equipment supported by this funding increases airports safety, emergency response capabilities, capacity, and will support further potential growth and development within each airport’s region.
“The Colorado Division of Aeronautics and Colorado Aeronautical Board are fortunate to have an incredibly strong relationship with the FAA. This collaboration directly enables the Division to fulfill its mission to advance a safe, efficient, and effective state-wide air and space system,” said Colorado Division of Aeronautics Director David Ulane.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a Federal Register notice on July 9, 2018, explaining the supplemental funding evaluation criteria and submission process. After the FAA awarded $205 million to 37 airports in 34 states in September 2018, airports in October 2018 submitted additional funding requests for grant awards in fiscal years 2019 or 2020.
The requirements under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 include:
Requiring the FAA to give “priority consideration” to specific types of airports (smaller and more rural airports);
For non-primary airports, there is no local match required for the work covered by the grant; and
Requiring the FAA to obligate the supplemental funding by September 2020.
Under the Secretary’s leadership, the FAA is administering the supplemental funding to strengthen the safety and efficiency of America’s airports. These investments increase the nation’s competitiveness and improve the quality of life for the traveling public. According to the FAA’s most recent economic analysis, U.S. civil aviation accounts for $1.6 trillion in total economic activity and supports nearly 11 million jobs.
The Colorado Airport System consists of 74 public use airports that support over 265,000 jobs, provide $12.6 billion in annual payroll, and $36.7 billion in total annual economic output for the State of Colorado.