The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded more than US$766m in grants to build safer, more sustainable and more accessible airports across the USA.
The funding from the fifth round of the FY 2021 Airport Improvement Program grants will pay for projects at 279 airports in 44 states, plus facilities in Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Steve Dickson, FAA administrator, said, “These grants will improve safety, sustainability and accessibility at airports across our country.”
Projects include US$10.6m to install a geothermal system in the terminal building at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport to improve the airport’s energy efficiency. The airport will heat and cool the 37,000m2 terminal building with the new geothermal system, which will replace three existing boilers. The geothermal system will significantly reduce pollutants, such as ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter associated with the burning of natural gas.
Other projects of note include US$84,000 to buy a passenger lift device to help passengers with disabilities board and deplane aircraft at Charleston AFB/International Airport; US$16.4m to expand the terminal building and apron at Wilmington International Airport; and US$6.1m to expand the terminal building and improve the existing ticketing area at Fort Wayne International Airport. The terminal expansion will provide a service-animal relief area, lactation rooms and children’s play area.
The Airport Improvement Program receives approximately US$3.2bn in funding each year. The FAA plans to award more than 1,800 grants in 2021.