The Colorado Aeronautical Board (CAB) recently approved FY2021 state and locally funded discretionary aviation grants for Colorado airports during their January 25, 2021 CAB meeting. The unanimous decision authorized the distribution of $861,718 in state aviation fuel tax revenues through grants to four Colorado public-use airports under the Colorado Discretionary Aviation Grant (CDAG) Program administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Division of Aeronautics.
The grants ranged in size from $40,218 to $346,500. These discretionary aviation grants represent the State of Colorado’s participation in airport pavement maintenance and airport infrastructure improvements. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant reduction in air travel in 2020, and consequently, aviation fuel sales tax collections that support the Colorado Discretionary Aviation Grant Program were drastically reduced. Due to these circumstances, $5.9 million in state aviation grants to 14 airports that had been programmed for FY 2021 have been postponed.
“The Colorado Division of Aeronautics is committed to supporting Colorado’s multi-modal transportation system by assisting Colorado’s airports through the funding of critical projects. We were disappointed to have to make drastic reductions to our FY2021 state and local grant program but doing so will preserve the long-term financial sustainability of our Aviation Fund,” said Aeronautics Division Director David Ulane.
Colorado legislation was created in 1991 to develop and maintain the Colorado Aviation System through taxes collected on aviation fuel sold within the state. There are no general funds used to meet the needs within the Colorado Aviation System. The Colorado Aviation System is funded solely through the taxes collected by those who use the aviation system.