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Indianapolis Airport Receives Largest Airport Improvement Grant in the Nation

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) learned in September it will receive the nation’s largest allotment of recent Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program funding, pulling in a massive grant of more than $56 million to be used for airfield improvements at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND).

“This is the crown jewel among the collection of grants the IAA is set to receive,” said IAA Executive Director Mario Rodriguez. “It’s the largest single grant in our airport’s history, and the largest allotment among the nation’s airports in the FAA’s latest AIP funding round.”

Rodriguez said the AIP grant will help fund the initial construction phase to strengthen and enhance capacity for Runway 5R-23L and the initial construction and electrical phase of Taxiway D.

“It sounds more technical than sexy, but this project will invest significantly in improving the airfield as a public asset and is anticipated to create more than 2,700 construction jobs,” said Rodriguez.

In addition, the Indy airport also will receive nearly $1 million from a total of $5.9 million allocated nationally to airports for Zero Emissions Vehicle grants. The IAA will use the funding to purchase two 25-foot electric shuttle buses and charging stations to enhance its existing fleet to 12 electric shuttle buses. The Indy airport is home to one of the largest electric shuttle bus fleets at an airport in the nation.

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The Indy airport will also receive more than $11 million to increase its capacity to facilitate Remain Over Night parking of aircraft on the airfield. This project aligns with the IAA’s focus to secure additional nonstop flights from Indy and new commercial service carriers. In 2021, the Indy airport has announced 21 new nonstop flights and added new airlines, Sun Country and Contour, to the lineup.

“The work these grants support not only maintain and enhance airport infrastructure, but they also create opportunities for many local companies to compete for these projects, leveraging a diverse business network and workforce that reflects the community,” said Jarod Klaas, IAA senior director of planning and development who leads the IAA’s pursuit of AIP funding.

The IAA also received two grants, one each for the Eagle Creek Airport (EYE) and Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport (UMP) totaling nearly $300,000. In total, the IAA received more than $71 million in FAA grants this year.

Rodriguez attributed the success of this year’s grant funding allocation to the continued support from Indiana’s congressional leaders, both in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, to secure critical funding for these key infrastructure projects.

In total the FAA announced grant awards of more than $431.8 million on Sep. 21 to build safer, more sustainable, and more accessible airports across the United States. The funding is for the final round of Fiscal Year 2021 Airport Improvement Program grants and will pay for projects at 60 airports in 31 states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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