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AOPA APPLAUDS CONGRESS AND U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ON AIRPORT FUNDINGAOPA APPLAUDS CONGRESS AND U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ON AIRPORT FUNDING

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) applauded Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) following the announcement that $840 million in  Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants will be distributed amongst 381 airports across the country.

Yesterday's announcement comes on the heels of $1 billion in supplemental funding for airport safety projects provided by Congress last year.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a release, “This significant investment in airport improvements will fund construction and rehabilitation projects that will help maintain high levels of safety in U.S. aviation.”

“These are worthwhile projects that will help ensure a safe and strong aviation system across the United States, especially in small and medium sized communities where airports provide significant economic benefits to these areas,” said AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker.

Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Jim Coon, also applauded Congress and the U.S. DOT for this “much needed investment in our nation’s small and medium sized airports.”

Baker went on to explain that, “One of AOPA’s key advocacy efforts is educating policy makers on the importance of our airport ecosystem to communities. We also support and help airports through our Airport Support Network (ASN) Program, which consists of nearly 2,000 AOPA volunteers based at airports across the country.” Baker continued, “Ensuring airport sponsors have the necessary tools needed to remain safe, prepare for the future, and continue serving their communities, businesses, and pilots are vital – and these funds will help accomplish these things.”

According to the FAA release, the 432 grants will fund infrastructure projects at 381 airports around the country. Selected projects include runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, construction of firefighting facilities, and the maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals. The construction and equipment supported by this funding increase the airports’ safety, emergency response capabilities, and capacity, and could support further economic growth and development within each airport’s region.

For more information on this and other developing stories visit www.aopa.org.

AOPA Communications staff

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