On September 27, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the Federal Aviation Administration awarded $205 million in funding for infrastructure grants to small airports in 34 states. This is the first round of $1 billion in total funding for airport improvement projects. Of the airports receiving funding, the majority serve rural communities. The remainder of the $1 billion will be awarded during fiscal years 2019 and 2020 based on grant requests submitted by October 31. The deadline to apply for the supplemental funding grants is October 31, 2018. To view the statutory rules, evaluation criteria and the submission process, please click here.
Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (PL – 115-141) – also known as the 2018 omnibus spending bill – the funding supplements the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which was funded at $3.31 billion for FY 2018. A longstanding NACo priority, AIP provides funds for capital projects without the financial burden of debt financing, although airports are required to provide a local match of between 5 percent and 25 percent, depending on the airport size and eligible costs.
A total of 37 airports received grant funding from this latest round of supplemental funding. The awarded projects include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons and terminals.