Twenty-six Washington airports will receive a share of nearly $12 million in federal, state and local funds to maintain airport pavements, improve safety and enhance security. Of that amount the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) contributed $1.1 million through its Airport Aid Grant Program, and used $433,290 in state funds to leverage more than $9 million in federal grants, according to state officials.
About two-thirds (67%) of the funding for the 32 airport improvement projects are focused on airport pavements. WSDOT places a funding priority on maintaining strong airport pavements to preserve facilities and improve safety, officials note.
This is the first round of Airport Aid grants awarded during the 2011-2013 biennium. WSDOT anticipates awarding the next round of grants in spring 2012.
Each year, WSDOT’s airport grant program provides funding to many of the state’s 138 public airports, and leverages millions of dollars in federal grants by using a relatively minimal amount of state and local match contributions. These grants are vital to the airport system in Washington that supports more than 171,000 jobs and generates $4.1 billion in wages annually, state officials said. WSDOT’s airport grant program is funded by an 11-cent fee on aviation fuel and a portion of the state aircraft registration fees.