On October 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Expedited Delivery of Airport Infrastructure Act of 2020 (H.R. 5912), which would incentivize early completion of projects funded through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Introduced by U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.), the bill would allow airports to use AIP funds for incentive payments to contractors to complete runway and airport projects ahead of schedule. The bill passed the House via voice vote and next heads to the Senate for consideration.
AIP grants are flexible and may be used for runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, construction of firefighting facilities, noise mitigation, emissions reduction, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons and terminals. Current law prohibits AIP fund to be used for incentive purposes. If enacted into law, H.R. 5912 would allow airports to use up to $1 million in AIP funds to incentivize contactors to expedite project completion.
A longstanding county priority, AIP provides funds for capital projects without the financial burden of debt financing. However, airports are still required to provide a local match of between 5 percent and 25 percent depending on the airport size and eligible costs. With 34 percent of America’s public airports controlled by counties, AIP provides crucial funding for local governments to maintain the nation’s airport infrastructure.