California grants much-needed funds for airport improvement

July 2, 2014

Money has been transferred into the California Department of Transportation’s aeronautics account, opening up funds for airport improvements around the state.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed state Senate Bill 853 into law June 20, legislation that enacted a number of statutory changes necessary to implement transportation provisions of the state’s budget. One of the provisions AOPA had been actively supporting from other legislation allowed the transfer of funds from the local airports loan account to the aeronautic account, all within the state Department of Transportation’s budget.

The aeronautics account had been depleted from a transfer of funds to the general fund in 2009. Meanwhile, airports were not applying for the money through the local airports loan account. This transfer will once again make state matching grants available to airports applying for FAA Airport Improvement Program funding.

AOPA Western Pacific Regional Manager John Pfeifer has been working with this legislature to seek approval of this funding mechanism for several months. Recently, he had also engaged the administration, meeting with staff from the state’s transportation and finance departments, as well as with Brian Annis, undersecretary of the state Transportation Agency. Pfeifer sent a letter to the governor June 24, thanking him for signing the bill to open up much-needed funding.