Up to $70 billion is expected to be spent between now and 2021 in moves to modernize the nation’s airports.
The projects, according to the Alexandria, Virginia-based Airport Consultants Council, are or will be taking place at more than 50 airports across the country, with a special emphasis on modernizing terminals.
Those terminals are increasingly seeing the build-out of new restaurant and retail space, along with even children’s play areas.
The projects are taking place in the wake of a Congressional vote earlier this year maintaining the current cap on the nation’s Passenger Facility Charge. Revenues from that fee are used to fund any number of airport facility expansion projects.
Groups such as the Airports Council International-North America contended that doing away with the cap, which would allow for a higher fee and more revenue, was vital for supporting airport infrastructure needs.
Congress instead created a $1 billion grant program to fund those same needs.
Next month, the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to publish a notice in the Federal Register, providing additional information and deadlines for airports submitting grant applications.
Congress has also passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, offering up to $3.3 billion in Airport Improvement Program grants for the next 5 years.
Those grants target facility improvements at smaller airports.
By Garry Boulard
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