By Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) July 9 made public its guidance for release of the additional $1 billion in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding made available through the FY 2018 appropriations legislation signed into law by President Trump March 23. The $1 billion is on top of the core $3.35 billion in AIP program funding level authorized under the current authorization law extension that runs through Sept. 30.

The additional funding is being made available through FY 2020, or until the $1 billion runs out—whichever comes first—and will be distributed by grants as opposed to a formula. Priority is being given to smaller airports, but all airports eligible to receive AIP grants may apply.

This increase in airport construction funding came because of a two-year budget deal Democrats and Republicans struck to increase spending on both domestic discretionary and defense spending in FY 2018 and FY 2019.  As part of that deal, it was agreed to that at least $10 billion a year would go towards infrastructure improvements that otherwise would not been funded. Both the House and Senate versions of the FY 2019 transportation appropriations legislation include additional AIP program increases, with the House providing $500 million and the Senate $750 million.

View the complete FAA funding notice. As the FY 2019 spending bills move forward, ARTBA will continue to advocate for robust funding increases for airport construction.