Since the Trump Administration took office, one major talking point has been the need to revamp the American infrastructure system. One strategy includes grants for airports around the country, fixing taxiways and updating tunnels.
Now, more than a dozen airports in Arizona will be receiving millions of dollars in federal grants for improvements to aviation infrastructure, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
A total of 13 airports in Arizona are part of a new round of funding in the agency’s Airport Improvement Program, which started funneling money to airports across the country in the first round last year. In that first round, 17 Arizona airports were given $21 million, including improvements to Phoenix Sky Harbor, Grand Canyon West in northwest Arizona, and Marana Regional Airport in the southeast.
In this round, the grants include $2.7 million for Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix, $1.5 million in funds for snow removal equipment at the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, and another $1.1 million to construct a taxiway at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa.
All told, the U.S. Department of Transportation, headed up by Sec. Elaine Chao, is shelling out roughly $65 million in airport grants around the country.
“This significant investment in airport improvements in Arizona will fund construction and rehabilitation projects that will help maintain high levels of safety in U.S. aviation,” Sec. Chao said in a statement.
President Donald Trump ran on the need for infrastructure improvements in his 2016 campaign, highlighting a major need for a nationwide overhaul and funding for the country’s entire infrastructure system. Trump rolled out a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan in February 2018.
Included in the plan was $200 billion in federal funding intended to breathe life into local and state government infrastructure spending across the country as well as private investments.
According to Ian Gregor, a spokesperson for the FAA, selected projects include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, construction of firefighting facilities, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals. Investment in this construction and equipment increases the airports’ safety, emergency response capabilities, and capacity, and could support further economic growth and development within each airport’s region.