by Lauren Jessop
Three Pennsylvania airports will receive a combined $39 million in federal funding for a variety of upgrades as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh International Airports are three of 99 locations across the country each receiving a share of $1 billion in 2023. In 2022, 85 airports last year – including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lehigh Valley International Airports – received a combined total of $49 million.
The FAA’s announcement said air traffic is poised to reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels this year and the funding will help meet that demand. Additionally, investments made in these key areas will move travelers in and out of airports more quickly and improve their overall experience.
Philadelphia International Airport received two $15 million grants for a total of $30 million.
The first $15 million supports phase two of the airport’s bathroom renovations. Last year, the airport received $24 million to create additional restroom space throughout the terminal.
The project, which is scheduled for completion in 2028, includes smart technology to optimize maintenance schedules, as well as the construction of private nursing suites, service animal relief areas, and adult assisted-care changing rooms.
The second grant will be used to improve energy efficiency by replacing preconditioned air and ground units at gates, install LED lighting in terminals and on roadways, and upgrade electrical and thermal power stations.
Harrisburg International Airport is receiving $5.5 million to upgrade its baggage handling system with energy efficient components.
The airport serves one of the fastest growing regions in the state, and this funding is helping Pennsylvanians reach their destination smoother and with fewer delays, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA, said in a statement.
Pittsburgh is slated to receive $3.5 million, the second installment of a two-year commitment of $23.5 million towards the construction of a new 700,000 square foot terminal.
Airport management says the new terminal will drastically shorten walking distances for travelers and additional security lanes will reduce wait times. Interior spaces have been designed to allow for efficient passenger flow and include expanded dining and shopping areas.
In the airport’s statement, U.S Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Pittsburgh, said this investment provides people with easy access in and out of western PA, and as the area continues to develop, the airport will play a pivotal role in the region’s growth.
“Today’s funding doesn’t just improve airport terminals,” said Deputy FAA Administrator A. Bradley Mims. “It creates opportunities in communities large and small for good-paying jobs and a chance to be part of our country’s thriving aviation sector.”
In 2022, Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown received $5 million to add lanes to their security screening checkpoint.
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Lauren Jessop is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Philadelphia International Airport” by Piotrus. CC BY-SA 1.0.