The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division has announced that 10 publicly-owned airports have been awarded Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants from the Federal Aviation Administration. The grants will be used to enhance airport safety, build and reconstruct runways and taxiways, conduct environmental assessments and develop master plans for airport operations.
“Massachusetts public-use airports are an important part of our vast transportation network as they provide travelers with key connections to their destinations,” said MassDOT Aeronautics Administrator Jeffrey DeCarlo. “MassDOT is pleased to continuously collaborate with federal and state stakeholders to help support the safety, operational and environmental needs of these facilities.”
The FAA Airport Improvement Program provides grants to public-use airports for planning and development initiatives, including infrastructure projects such as runways, taxiways, airport signage, airport lighting, and airport markings. The current grant program was first established in 1982. The grants strengthen the nation’s aviation infrastructure.
Airports are entitled to a certain amount of AIP funding each year, based on passenger volume. For large and medium primary hub airports, the grant covers 75 percent of eligible costs, or 80 percent for noise program implementation. Small primary, reliever and general aviation airports that receive grants have 90 to 95 percent of eligible costs covered. If their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, then the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.
Public-use airport projects are eligible for AIP grants if they are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). The NPIAS is prepared and published every two years and identifies public-use airports that are important to public transportation and also contribute to the needs of civil aviation, national defense and the U.S. Postal Service. Projects eligible to receive an AIP grant include those related to airport safety, capacity, security and environmental concerns. Projects related to airport operations, as well as operational costs are not eligible for the grants.
The AIP grants were awarded to the following Massachusetts General Aviation Airports:
Barnstable Municipal Airport has received $904,000 to update its Airport Master Plan Study.
Beverly Regional Airport has received $1.8 million to develop an Airport Master Plan Study Update and to reconstruct the runway.
Fitchburg Municipal Airport has received $13.8 million to extend and reconstruct the runway and rehabilitate the taxiway.
Martha’s Vineyard Airport has received $1 million to acquire an aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicle and to conduct an environmental study.
New Bedford Regional Airport has received $106,000 to install perimeter fencing at the airport.
North Adams Municipal Airport has received $131,855 to install perimeter fencing and to conduct a wildlife hazard assessment.
Orange Municipal Airport has received $53,550 for an environmental assessment for a new hazard beacon light for air navigation.
Plymouth Municipal Airport has received $152,292 for the demolition of the existing administration building.
Provincetown Municipal Airport has received $2.3 million to construct a taxiway, install perimeter fencing and conduct environmental mitigation operations.
Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport has received $6.9 million for runway reconstruction and improvement.
Governor Baker recently filed a transportation bond bill seeking $18 billion in additional capital authorization to invest in building and modernizing a transportation system that meets the needs of residents, businesses and cities and towns statewide. The authorization would be used to fund existing programs as well as several new initiatives designed to lessen impacts from roadway congestion and ensure reliable travel throughout the Commonwealth. This bill also includes an additional $150 million for the Aeronautics Division to help facilitate capital improvements to public-use airports in the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts’ system of 38 public-use airports supports more than 199,000 jobs with over $7.2 billion in total annual payroll, and generates $24.7 billion in total economic activity. The MassDOT Aeronautics Division advances the operation and development of these airports through grant funding, airport inspections, technical guidance, statewide planning initiatives, aviation education outreach and communication with local, state and federal officials.