TAC Explains: How are airports funded in the U.S.?

Dissecting the complex funding measures help support a large, diverse system of airports across 50 states and territories.

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Release Date
January 30, 2024
TAC Explains: How are airports funded in the U.S.?
The Biden Administration announced on Jan. 30 it would award roughly $250 million through its Airport Infrastructure Grant (AIG) program to airports in 37 states. The injection for fiscal year 2024 is a significant win for airports in need of money to modernize everything from terminals to runways, but it also underscores a bigger truth about airport funding: it’s complicated.  

Related: Airport funding reforms in limbo with uncertain FAA reauthorization

With more than 5,000 public use airports nationwide, different mechanisms are used to fund different parts of each airfield. Like any complex infrastructure, airports are dynamic: they have their own unique challenges and characteristics that rely on this complex web of funding mechanisms to suit their own unique needs. The Air Current takes a step back from the headlines to dissect the question: Where do these vital funds for airports come from and where do they go?

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