SoCal Airports Receive FAA Infrastructure Grants

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded $770.8 million in new airport infrastructure grants, the third part of $3.2 billion in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) allotments this year, intended to strengthen safety and efficiency at airports across the United States. This third increment of funding provides 569 grants to 522 airports to fund 949 infrastructure projects that include runways, taxiways, aprons and terminal projects.

Ontario International Airport in Southern California’s San Bernardino County was awarded $8.7 million – funds will be used to repair the Terminal 1 apron and the south cargo apron. During the FAA’s first round of funding in June, San Diego International Airport was awarded $12.1 million to be used to rehabilitate a taxiway.

“If you want a strong transportation system, you have to invest in airport infrastructure,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. “These communities are going to reap greater safety, efficiency, and economic dividends for years to come.”

Maintaining a healthy U.S. infrastructure—including airports and the roads, bridges and transit systems that connect to them—increases the country’s competitiveness, improves the traveling public’s quality of life, and supports jobs and the economy.

Connectivity to each of these airports is supported by state level investments from SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System was awarded $4.5 million through SB 1’s State of Good Repair Program to repair and enhance the light rail system that connects commuters to San Diego International Airport. The project includes the replacement of up to 5,800 ties along the Orange and Blue Lines that connect San Diego’s east and south counties with the downtown region.

The Interstate 10 freeway that brings commuters to Ontario airport will see improvements thanks to SB 1 awards. The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority/Caltrans was awarded a total of  $117.8 million for the 1-10 Corridor Project. The project will add 33 miles of Express Lanes to relieve congestion and get commuters to their destination faster. And, as part of the State Highway Project, $8.9 million was awarded to San Bernardino County to perform preventative maintenance and improve 67.5 lane miles of I-10 from Ontario to Redlands.

The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides grants for the planning and development of public-use airports.  Over the last decade, California airports have received 1,543 grants worth a total of $3.0 billion through the AIP. At present, 165 airports in California have identified $2.8 billion in unfunded improvements needed over the next five years that would be eligible for AIP grants. According to the FAA’s most recent economic analysis, U.S. civil aviation accounts for $1.6 trillion in total economic activity and supports nearly 11 million jobs.

Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) is a landmark transportation investment to rebuild California by fixing neighborhood streets, freeways and bridges in communities across California and targeting funds toward transit and congested trade and commute corridor improvements. SB 1 invests $5.4 billion annually over the next decade to fix California’s transportation system. It will address a backlog of repairs and upgrades, while ensuring a cleaner and more sustainable travel network for the future. SB 1 is a job creator—the White House Council of Economic Advisors found that every $1 billion invested in transportation infrastructure supports 13,000 jobs a year.

Southern California Partnership for Jobs supports infrastructure investment. We advocated for the passage of SB 1, a new transportation funding source that is becoming ever more critical for California. We oppose any efforts to repeal SB 1 that would rob our communities of vital road safety and transportation improvement funds.

No on Prop 6:  Stop the Attack on Bridge and Road Safety.

Source: Various