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  6.  | FAA Invests $42 Million in Airports Across Alaska

FAA Invests $42 Million in Airports Across Alaska

Sep 22, 2021 | Government, News, Transportation


The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award seven Alaska airports a total of $42 million in Airport Improvement Program grants to help with safety, access, and sustainability efforts. The FAA has awarded more than 64 grants totaling $257.4 million to Alaska airports during fiscal year 2021.

“These grants reflect our ongoing commitment to the unique needs of Alaska aviation community and our focus on supporting the extensive Alaska National Airspace System,” says FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.

Aviation provides the backbone of daily commerce to many communities in the state, including the delivery of food and life-saving supplies, inter-city and inter-village transportation, emergency medical evacuations, and daily commuting. Approximately 82 percent of communities in Alaska are only accessible by air. Many of these communities are home to Alaska Natives, which represent nearly 20 percent of the state’s population.

“Transportation connectivity is paramount to reach communities throughout our great nation. These grants are key to achieve that goal,” says Arlando Teller, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tribal Affairs.

The projects announced today will not have to pay the usual local match thanks to nearly $100 million in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act.

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Alaska Business August 2022 Cover

August 2022

The grants include:

Bethel Census Area

  • Bethel Airport, Bethel, Alaska: an additional $6.0 million to the $34.3 million announced in August to replace the airport lighting vault, reconstruct airfield guidance signs, strengthen Runway 01L/19R, rehabilitate the taxiway, and purchase snow removal equipment and an emergency generator.


  • Chefornak Airport, Chefornak, Alaska: $6.6 million to rehabilitate the access road to the airport, the airport’s runway, and the apron area where planes park.


  • Kipnuk Airport, Kipnuk, Alaska: $18.9 million for improvements to navigational aids, which include installing new aids as well as the reconstruction of the airport beacon and taxiway lighting. In addition, the airport will use grant funding to widen the runway and rehabilitate the taxiway and apron where planes park.


Kenai Peninsula Borough 

  • Kenai Municipal Airport, Kenai, Alaska: $506,500 to construct, extend, and improve the airport safety area.


Matanuska-Susitna Borough

  • Warren “Bud” Woods Palmer Municipal Airport, Palmer, Alaska: $526,000 to improve airport drainage and erosion control for the taxiway.


North Slope Borough

  • Atqasuk Edward Burnell Sr. Memorial Airport, Atqasuk, Alaska: add an additional $3.1 million to the $20.7 million announced in August to install navigational aids, including apron edge lights and flood lighting, reconstruct runway and taxiway lighting, replace the airport lighting vault, install additional perimeter fencing, and rehabilitate the airport’s runway, taxiway, and apron where planes park. Atqasuk, located about fifty miles inland from Point Barrow, is solely dependent on aviation for the transportation of people, goods, and critical services.


Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

  • Metlakatla Airport, Metlakatla, Alaska: $6.5 million to repair the seaplane base so it can be used to safely transport goods and services to remote communities in Alaska, including the Metlakatla Indian Community on Annette Island in southern Alaska. 

The funding is from the sixth round of fiscal year 2021 Airport Improvement Program grants. 

The Airport Improvement Program receives approximately $3.2 billion in funding each year. A complete listing of grants (PDF) and AIP Grants Data by State is on the FAA website.

Alaska Business Magazine August 2022 cover

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