WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected three airports to be eligible for grants to add civilian aviation operations at former and current military airfields, adding system capacity and helping to reduce congestion at existing airports. Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas; Mobile Downtown Airport in Mobile, Ala.; and Salina Regional Airport in Salina, Kan., will now be able to apply for Airport Improvement Grants.
“Adding civilian flights to these airports increases their role in fostering economic growth and creating jobs in their communities,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.
“Working with local stakeholders, the Military Airport Program is an innovative and fiscally responsible way to help improve prior military facilities and make them an important economic driver for their communities.” FAA Associate Administrator of Airports Shannetta Griffin said.
The Military Airport Program (MAP) provides funding as a set aside of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) to help increase civilian aviation capacity at current or former military airports by funding projects such as surface parking lots, fuel farms, hangars, utility systems, access roads, cargo buildings, and other airfield-related infrastructure.
This is the first time these three airports are participating in the program. The FAA will work with each airport to determine specific funding needs. Additional details about the three airports selected is included below:
- Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, a joint-use general aviation airport, will participate in the program for five years. The FAA may be able to provide funds for developing a building, parking lot, aircraft parking apron, hangar, and connector taxiways.
- Mobile Downtown Airport in Mobile, Ala., a primary non-hub airport located on the former Brookley Air Force Base, will also participate in the program for five years. The FAA may be able to provide funds for utility construction, improving airport drainage, parking lot construction, and an apron reconstruction project.
- Salina Regional Airport in Salina, Kan., a primary non-hub airport on the former Schilling Air Force Base, may receive funds to rehabilitate a fuel farm and parking lot. The airport will be in the program for four years.
With three new airports joining the program, seven airports are now eligible for MAP funding in Fiscal Year 2022. Airports already in the program are Tipton Airport in Odenton, Md.; Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport in Killeen, Texas; Roswell International Air Center in Roswell, N.M.; and Sawyer International Airport in Gwinn, Mich.
The MAP allows the FAA to designate up to 15 joint-use or former military airports to participate each fiscal year. Three of the 15 airports may be general aviation airports and the remaining 12 must be commercial service or reliever airports. Selected airports are designated for a period of one to five years. Previously selected airports may re-apply to the program.
The airports in this program have unique project-eligibility rules to convert them to civilian or joint use, thereby increasing the capacity of the National Airspace System to serve the flying public. Since 1991, the FAA has provided approximately $764 million to more than 35 airports through the program.
The FAA will announce the next program open-application period in late 2022.