The Taos Regional Airport received another sizable chunk of money this past week after the New Mexico Department of Transportation awarded a total of $3 million to rehabilitate and complete the commercial aircraft parking apron, according to a news release from NMDOT.
For that total, $1.6 million will come from the American Rescue Plan Act, while another $2.4 million will come through House Bill 2, which approves the town’s previously requested Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan funds.
The Taos Regional Airport is one of 11 airports in the state to receive funds through the NMDOT’s Aviation Division, which awarded a total of $20 million in funds to statewide airport projects. The goal is to “benefit existing facilities and create new infrastructure benefiting both commercial and general aviation, as well as local economies,” read the news release.
State funding for the $20 million for the 11 projects comes from two sources: a $10 million special legislative session allocation from 2021 for statewide regional airports through the American Rescue Plan Act funds, and another $10 million passed by the state in a 2022 special session. Half of the money from the second special session ($5 million) was set aside for “essential air service from [fiscal years] 2023-25,” while the other $5 million was allocated for “regional airport projects.”
Two other projects will also be funded through the passing of House Bill 2, the bill allocating the previously mentioned funds. While the Taos Municipal Airport will receive the money for the commercial aircraft parking apron, the Milan Municipal Airport in Grants will receive money for a new hangar, terminal and medevac station.
The state previously drafted several Airport Capital Improvement Plans, which were taken into consideration when determining various project allocations. “The NMDOT Aviation Division then scored the project proposals based on four criteria: safety, Federal Aviation Administration priorities, development status and subjective need determination,” reads the release.
“I am confident in the Aviation Division’s staff knowledge of funding processes and their experience assisting airports in developing comprehensive capital improvement plans gives the department confidence the selected projects will have a positive impact on the state’s aviation system for both general and commercial aviation,” said New Mexico Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval in the release.
The other $17 million will go to other airports throughout the state, including the Los Alamos County Airport, Santa Fe Municipal Airport, Silver City Grant Airport, Tucumcari Municipal Airport and the Truth or Consequences Airport. Funds will go toward everything from terminal and runway repairs to fuel safety issues.