DOTD officials comment on $35.7 million set for Louisiana airports

Staff Report

Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials are looking forward to improvements planned for the state's airports.

Louisiana is set to receive $35,689,010 for airports from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration recently announced first-year airport funding awards. In all, $2.89 billion will be made available to airports around the nation. The money can be invested in runways, taxiways, safety and sustainability projects, as well as terminal, airport-transit connections and roadway projects.

A total of 51 of Louisiana’s airports are on the list to receive funding. The amounts range from $110,000 to more than $14 million.

Shawn Wilson

“Building back better is not just a motto, it is actually happening,” stated Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “This investment will help us continue our mission to improve our aviation infrastructure to ensure a safe, modern and well managed system of airports which provides convenient and efficient access to the state for tourism, commerce, industrial interests, recreation, and economic development.”

“This injection of funding comes as airports are rebounding from the Coronavirus pandemic which nearly halted operations,” said Renee Lapeyrolerie, Louisiana DOTD Commissioner of Multimodal Commerce. “The investment will help backlogged projects takeoff and spur economic development across the State.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discusses the bipartisan infrastructure law at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Ariz. on Nov. 19.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has given us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build safer and more sustainable airports that connect individuals to jobs and communities to the world. With this new funding, urban, regional and rural airports across the country now can get to work on projects that have waited for years, modernizing their infrastructure and building a better America.”

Louisiana airports can submit projects they wish to use the funds for to the FAA for review in the coming weeks. The FAA is encouraging airports to prioritize projects that increase airport safety, equity and sustainability.

The FAA is also planning to reach out to the minority business community about opportunities at airports across the nation.

The money will come from the Airport Infrastructure Grant program, one of three new aviation programs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The law provides $15 billion over five years for this program. The FAA estimates the backlog of airport modernization and safety projects totals $43.6 billion.