Colorado Aeronautical Board Approves Second Round of State Airport Funding

During an April 19, 2023, meeting, the Colorado Aeronautical Board (CAB) approved a second round of 2023 Colorado Discretionary Aviation Grant (CDAG) funding allocated to match federally-funded airport projects in Colorado. The unanimous decision authorized the distribution of just over $4 million in state aviation fuel tax revenues that support the CDAG Program administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Division of Aeronautics.

After two years (2020 & 2021) of Federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) projects funded at 100% due to COVID-19 relief funding, the 2022 and 2023 AIP programs have returned to previous matching requirements.  This return to standard practice requires all airports to provide a local match component to accept AIP funding, typically 10% with a few exceptions.  The Division has historically supported Colorado’s airports by providing half of their local match requirement, up to $250,000 of State funding per year. 

In addition to the Federal AIP funding, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), has provided an additional influx of Federal funding into Colorado’s system of airports.  BIL allocations provide an additional $27 million ($86 million with DEN included) of funding statewide per year from 2022 through 2026.  These BIL allocations require the same matching component as the AIP funding. Subsequently, the Division will provide half the local matching requirement to ensure airports are able to accept these additional federal funds.

Combining requests for both the AIP and BIL programs, 35 airports were awarded $4,019,683 in 2023 State matching funds leveraging over $101 million in Federal funding.  A combined total of over $112 million in state, local, and federal funding was allocated to fund 2023 AIP and BIL projects.

2023 Federal Match Grant Program Summary

The second round of CDAG funding comes following the CAB’s approval in January of nearly $9.5 million in CDAG funding supporting state and locally funded airport improvement projects. In total, the 2023 CDAG program includes 48 grants awarded to 43 airports totaling $13.5 million. Combining all 2023 state, local, and federal funding, a grand total of over $123 million in grants will support critical airport improvement projects and are focused on achieving goals set by the 2020 Colorado Aviation System Plan to enhance safety, efficiency, and economic sustainability at airports all across the State of Colorado.

FY2023 State Funded Projects by Category

The Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB) was awarded a total of $276,521 in state funding to support a federally funded project to rehabilitate Runway 8R/26L. Along with $323,000 in funding from the City of Pueblo, this grant will leverage $11.4 million in federal AIP and BIL funding. “Pueblo Airport strives to provide safe and efficient access to the national aviation system for our users and community. These funds help PUB remain a regional asset for southeastern Colorado. We are humbled and proud to represent the good that can come from these types of partnerships,” said PUB Director of Aviation Greg Pedroza.

Other Colorado airports awarded 2023 CDAG federal match grants for runway rehabilitation projects included Craig-Moffat County Airport (CAG), and the Greeley-Weld County Airport (GXY).  A comprehensive listing of each individual airport grant award can be found here.

“This year’s Colorado aviation funding amount gives the Division more opportunities to raise the bar for the Colorado aviation system in terms of safety, efficiency and viability. We now have the ability to consider funding even more strategically planned projects that directly benefit the users of the Colorado aviation system,” said Aeronautics Division Director David Ulane.