ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona’s airports to get nearly $70 million from infrastructure law in first year

Dec 17, 2021, 4:45 AM
(Facebook photo/Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)...
(Facebook photo/Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)
(Facebook photo/Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)

PHOENIX — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday Arizona’s 58 airports will receive $69.5 million over the next year for infrastructure improvements.

The funds are made available by the recently-approved Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) helped negotiate.

The money can be used for runways, taxiways, safety and sustainability projects, as well as terminal, airport-transit connections and roadway projects. It’s the first of five rounds of funding Arizona airports will receive.

More than half of the funds will go to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which will be awarded about $41 million.

“That funding will enable us to begin construction on a new taxiway – a very important addition that we would not be able to start on immediately without this funding,” said Greg Roybal, public information officer for Sky Harbor Airport.

The taxiway is projected to cost $280 million. It would connect the north and south airfields on the west side of the airport.

Roybal said the taxiway would “increase our efficiency, decrease wait times for takeoffs and landings and allow passengers to be able to get to their gates more quickly.”

Other projects include a connector bridge between terminals 3 and 4 and additional infrastructure improvements to terminal 4.

In the East Valley, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport will receive $4.5 million.

“That is huge for us,” said Ryan Smith, director of communications for Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. “That allows us to move forward on projects that we were saving money for, waiting for and had delayed.”

He said they plan to use some of the funds to replace four aging portable gates that were installed on a temporary basis in 2007. There will be an indoor walkway that connects those gates to the other terminal.

There are also plans to add more gates, which Smith said will hopefully bring in new airlines.

Airports will need to submit proposals to the FAA on projects they wish to use the funds for over the coming weeks. The FAA said in a statement it encourages airports “to prioritize projects that increase airport safety, equity and sustainability.”

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Arizona’s airports to get nearly $70 million from infrastructure law in first year