Sacramento International Airport Advances in Critical Funding Program

The Build America Bureau Credit Review Team voted on January 10 to advance the Sacramento International Airports (SMF) Pedestrian Walkway Project to the “Creditworthiness” stage of the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) process.

TIFIA is a federal program that provides low-cost loans to eligible infrastructure projects. Historically the program has focused on surface transportation. As a part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed into law by President Biden in 2021, TIFIA eligibility was expanded to include airport-related projects.

As a result of this decision, the Sacramento County Department of Airports (SCDA), which includes SMF, has become one of the first airports in the nation to advance to this critical phase of the TIFIA process.

The Department intends to use more than $32 million in TIFIA proceeds to finance a portion of a new Pedestrian Walkway connecting Terminal B to Concourse B. The total budget for the Walkway is $140 million.

“TIFIA is an attractive financing option for our Pedestrian Walkway project,” said Chris Wimsatt, Deputy Director of Airport Finance and Administration for the Sacramento County Department of Airports. “These low interest loans will save the airport nearly $900,000 per year in debt payments on the walkway versus traditional financing methods, or nearly $27 million over 30 years.”

The Pedestrian Walkway is a key component of the Department’s $1.3 billion SMForward Capital Program.  “If we succeed in closing this first TIFIA loan, we hope to work with the Build America Bureau on additional loans for future SMForward projects,” Wimsatt said. “The total anticipated savings made possible through TIFIA financing for the entire SMForward program could be more than $80 million.”

In addition to TIFIA financing, SMForward is being funded by a combination of federal grants, user fees and airport revenue bonds. For more information about SMForward, visit