Nearly 100 U.S. airports’ capital construction programs are getting a boost of almost $1 billion in the fiscal year 2023 round of grants from a new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act program targeted at improvements to airport terminals.
In all, the grants, which the Federal Aviation Administration announced on Feb. 27, are divided among 99 airports in 47 states and two U.S. territories. [View complete list of grants here.]
As with some other U.S. Dept. of Transportation programs, the airport terminal grants were awarded via a competition.
The FAA said that it received 658 applications that sought a total of more than $9 billion in projects for the fiscal year 2023 round.
The group of grants represents the second year of funding from the IIJA’s new Airport Terminal Program, which provides $1 billion annually over five years.
The new round includes 104 individual grants. Five airports—Asheville, N.C.; Dallas-Fort Worth; Cleveland; Orlando; and Philadelphia—are receiving two grants each. The other airports get one apiece.
The largest airport dollar allocation is $69 million in two grants to Orlando International Airport, which plans to use the funds to help fund a pedestrian bridge project and construction of multiple aircraft ramp system gates at Terminal C.
Chicago’s O’Hare ranks second, with a $50-million award to help finance an expansion of 60-year-old Terminal 3, according to an FAA summary of the grants.
No. 3 is Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International, with a $38-million grant for an expansion project for two concourses.
In fourth place is Dallas-Fort Worth, with two grants totaling $35 million.
Charlotte Douglas in North Carolina is fifth, with a $32-million grant.
Under the IIJA, for large and medium hub airports, a federal terminal grant can account for 80% of a project’s total cost; for small and regional airports, the maximum federal share is 95%.
The statute also specifies that not more than 55% of the total terminal-program dollars may go for projects at large hub airports; no more than 15% for medium hubs; and not more than 20% for small hubs.
In addition, a minimum of 10% must go to projects at non-hub and non-primary airports.
Besides improvements to airport terminal buildings, other eligible uses for the grants include terminal gates, walkways that lead to or from a passenger terminal; and access roads that carry airport traffic only and that lead directly to or from a passenger terminal.
On-airport rail access projects and airport-owned air traffic control tower projects also are eligible for Airport Terminal Program grants.
A March 2021 report from Airports Council International-North America estimated that terminal buildings' infrastructure needs total $40.1 billion over the 2021-2025 period.
That represents the largest share of airports' estimated $115.4 billion in total infrastructure needs.
Story updated on 3/4/2023 with details of the number of applications that the FAA received for the program this year.