Eighty-five airports will benefit from the first round of grant money that the FAA will award under the new law.
The grants were announced by the FAA. The infrastructure bill provides $5 billion for airport terminals.
DOT secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview with Travel Weekly that he sees a new opportunity to invest in the part of the airport where passengers interact the most. A lot of our terminals need to be fixed. America brought modern aviation to the world but not one of our airports is in the top 25. We all experience that when we fly.
Federal grants for passenger-facing terminal work have not been available since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed in the midst of the Great Recession.
The airports were awarded more than one billion dollars for terminal and airfield projects. Billions of dollars for runway, safety and sustainable work at airports are included in the infrastructure bill.
The passenger facility charge user fees are capped by the federal government at $4.50 per flight segment and are used to pay for terminal projects at airports.
Airports of all sizes are included in the 85 grant recipients.
The construction of four new gates that can handle four twin-aisle planes or eight narrowbody aircraft will be aided by $50 million. Pittsburgh International will get $20 million to help build a new terminal. The airport in Idaho will get $960,000 to install boilers and skylights that are energy efficient.
The Pittsburgh International Airport will receive a grant. The photo was taken by the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
The $20 billion from the infrastructure bill won't be enough to address the needs of airports in the future. The Airports Council International-North America estimated last year that the U.S. needs $115.4 billion in funding for airport infrastructure over the next ten years.
The cap on the passenger facility charge has not been increased in over a decade.
Buttigieg was not asked if he supports a cap increase.
He said that their focus was to spend the money well. There are more sources of funding that can be found. We are looking at the most we have been able to do in a long time.
The money the FAA will disburse for airport terminals is important.
The award that's planned for Huntsville, Alabama, will help with everything from elevators and escalators to restrooms in the terminal and concourse. It's going to make the airport more accessible to more people. It will make it more energy efficient. That is an example of a place where the total is going to make a huge difference to the community.