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Denver International, Boston Logan, and 83 other airports are getting a combined $1 billion for upgrades and new terminals

Britney Nguyen   

Denver International, Boston Logan, and 83 other airports are getting a combined $1 billion for upgrades and new terminals
  • 85 airports are getting a first installment of $1 billion for terminal upgrades and expansion.
  • The Biden administration's infrastructure bill from November included $5 billion for airport projects.

Some US airports are getting their share in the $5 billion for airport projects from the infrastructure bill President Joe Biden signed last November.

The first $1 billion installment of the $5 billion Federal Aviation Administration grant is going to 85 airports, including Denver International Airport and Boston Logan Airport, for upgrades and expansions of terminals and other airport facilities.

"I don't think anybody could look at airports across America today and say that the existing system and existing levels of funding have been adequate," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, according to the Associated Press.

Airlines are struggling this summer as travelers endure flight delays and cancellations.

Denver International, whose CEO President Biden plans to nominate to the head of the FAA, received the largest part of the grant, with $60 million to improve its terminal and to replace its bag-handling system. According to its website, Denver International, which opened in 1995, is the third-busiest airport in the world, and "generates more than $33.5 billion for the region" a year.

Boston Logan and Orlando International Airport will each receive $50 million.

Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. will receive $49.6 million to build a new concourse, and Pittsburgh International Airport will receive $20 million to build a new terminal.

Detroit and Philadelphia's main airports will each receive over $20 million for restroom renovations.

According to the FAA, over 530 airports submitted applications for 658 projects. If all of the projects were accepted, the FAA said it would cost over $14 billion.

Large-scale airport renovations aren't cheap. One particularly expensive example is LaGuardia Airport in New York, which recently opened its new $4 billion Delta terminal as part of a wider airport overhaul that cost $8 billion.

Terminal upgrades are usually funded by passenger facility charges, up to $4.50 per flight, which are added onto every ticket.

The AP reported that Buttigieg said spending taxpayer money on airport projects that were previously funded by travelers' fees is okay, because "there is a need out there; taxpayers expect it and want it."

Ticket taxes could be raised by Congress in order to pay for future airport projects, the AP said. While airports are keen to raising fees, airlines are not.

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