U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $229 Million in Economic Recovery Funds for Aviation


U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $229 Million in Economic Recovery Funds for Aviation

By Daniel Baxter


WASHINGTON, DC – May 1, 2009, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced more than $229 million for aviation infrastructure under the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). "This Administration is committed to getting the U.S. economy going again and these grants are a part of making that happen,” said Secretary LaHood. "This grant represents a critical investment in our nation's airport infrastructure that will boost the local economy by providing jobs for the area.”

The following states and territories will receive ARRA aviation grants: Alaska, Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Northern Mariania Islands, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming. About 3,400 airports designated as part of the national airport system are eligible to receive ARRA funds. The FAA is moving swiftly to work with airport sponsors to ensure eligible projects have completed or nearly completed, design and planning requirements. Under ARRA, the FAA received $1.1 billion to allocate to qualified airports on a discretionary basis. That funding will be distributed based on a project priority system that addresses airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.

Secretary LaHood said the Obama Administration is committed to getting ARRA money into the economy as quickly as possible. He noted that President Obama signed the ARRA into law on February 17, less than one month after taking the oath of office. Less than two weeks later, on March 3, LaHood joined President Obama and Vice President Biden at an historic announcement at the U.S. Department of Transportation to mark the release of $26.6 billion to the states and localities for highways, roads and bridges. The release of funds came eight days earlier than required by law.

On March 5, Secretary LaHood joined Vice President Biden and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz to announce the availability of $8.4 billion for transit infrastructure. On March 12, Secretary LaHood announced that Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airports had received the first funding allocations for airport infrastructure projects, and on March 13, Vice President Biden announced that DOT made $1.3 billion available to Amtrak for capital and security improvements.

Secretary LaHood noted that in early February, prior to the passage of the ARRA, he had established a team within the Department of Transportation to ensure that economic recovery funding is rapidly made available for transportation infrastructure projects and that project spending is monitored and transparent.
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