FOLLOWING SCHUMER’S PUSH AT NIAGARA FALLS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LAST YEAR, SENATOR ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL $500 MILLION FOR THE FAA’S AIRPORT IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM, BRINGING ITS TOTAL FUNDING UP TO $3.85 BILLION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2019; SAYS FUNDING BOOST CAN BE USED TO MAKE LONG-SOUGHT UPGRADES AT AIRPORTS ACROSS WESTERN NY
The Airport Improvement Program Provides Federal Funding For Public Agencies To Make Infrastructure Improvements At Airports
Schumer: Funds Will Help Prep Airports Across Upstate NY- Like Niagara Falls International -For Takeoff
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that, following his push, the recently passed minibus appropriations bill includes an additional $500 million for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP), bringing its total funding for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) up to $3.85 billion. Schumer explained that the AIP provides funding to public agencies to upgrade and improve public-use airports, and that it has benefited numerous airports in Upstate New York. Schumer explained that specifically, this funding could be used to conduct critical upgrades to the Niagara Falls International Airport, which is currently seeking funds to make renovations to its runways, taxiways, and signage. Schumer said that with this funding added to the AIP, the program has been awarded a total of $8.2 billion between FY18-19, which is $1.5 billion above its authorized level, to help complete critical improvements to airports across Upstate New York.
“Making sure New York’s airports are clear for takeoff is essential for the safety of air travelers and smooth functioning of the state’s economy – and especially to our upstate cities and small communities. The recently-passed bipartisan spending package adds $500 million to the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, which provides essential funding for airports to improve their security, capacity, environmental concerns and more,” said Senator Schumer. “These funds are a major victory for Upstate New York’s airports and the millions of residents, tourists and business people who use them each year.”
In May of last year, Schumer visited Niagara Falls International Airport to launch a push to send part of a recently-secured boost in AIP funding to the airport, to bring airfield signage systems in line with updated FAA guidelines, provide separated, safer taxiways for commercial air traffic, and allow for safer aircraft movements, especially for new tankers stationed at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, which use the airport’s runways. Schumer said that with an additional $500 million secured for FY19, the FAA again has the opportunity to help Niagara Falls International Airport conduct these much-needed and long-sought upgrades, to ensure the safety of air travelers and smooth functioning of the regional economy.
The AIP provides grants to public agencies for the planning and development of public-use airports that are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). Funds obligated for the AIP are drawn from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is supported by user fees, fuel taxes, and other similar revenue sources.