The Federal Aviation Administration will award $318.1 million in airport infrastructure grants to 78 airports nationwide, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Sept. 8.
The grants are part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP), and two airports in the Houston area will receive part of that money, per a Sept. 8 press release.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport will receive $21.3 million to repair and widen one of its main taxiways to accommodate larger aircraft. When including both discretionary grants and entitlement grants, IAH is receiving more than $24 million. Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport will receive $5 million to extend Taxiway G.
However, the biggest recipient in Texas — and nationwide — is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. DFW is receiving nearly $52.2 million that will go toward upgrading the terminal aircraft parking apron lighting to improve energy efficiency and repairing Runway 17C/35C, the primary runway at the airport.
Each year, airports are entitled to a certain amount of AIP funding based on passenger volume. The FAA also can supplement that entitlement funding with discretionary funding if airports’ capital are great enough. So far in 2017, the Transportation Department has awarded 1,580 new grants totaling about $2.8 billion to nearly 1,300 airports. Those grants will fund 646 runway projects and 557 taxiway projects nationwide.
“The Airport Improvement Program helps to maintain our aviation infrastructure and supports safety, capacity, security and environmental improvements,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in the Sept. 8 press release. “This is an important investment in these airports and the economic vitality of their respective communities.”