Airport World - Mary Scott Nabers

In the fall of 2022, the FAA announced the availability of $1 billion during 2023 for airport expansion projects, and over the next several weeks, it will release its list of awardees for this year’s funding cycle.

While the funding is earmarked for airport infrastructure projects, the types of projects that qualify are diverse.

If a project is selected, the funding will cover up to 80% of the cost for medium and large hub airports. For the remainder of eligible airports – such as small hub, non-hub, and non-primary airports – funding can cover up to 95% of a project’s cost.

The $1 billion in annual funding was authorised for a five-year period by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the same bill also authorised another $15 billion over five years to fund projects that upgrade safety and expand the capacity of US airports. Finally, another $5 billion is available for projects that repair and upgrade air traffic control facilities.

Added to these already established funding streams, the FAA has another $269 million in leftover funding for airport projects. As 2022 was ending, the agency announced the availability of this funding for projects. A list of awardees of this funding will also be available soon.

Some of the upcoming airport expansion projects are extremely large. One of the busiest airports in the world, the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, has announced a $7.1 billion expansion initiative. 

Additionally, the airport operator (the Port of Seattle) also plans to carry out a $300 million third phase of improvements to the airport’s baggage system. 

Another very large project has been announced for the Sacramento International Airport in California. A cumulative cost of $1.3 billion is projected for the various phases of this initiative. 

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