Airports Receive Government Funds for Improvements

By Kayla Henson | DFW Newsflash | July 2019

DFW Airport—U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao visited the DFW International Airport on Monday, June 24 to announce $495 million in airport infrastructure grants to 327 airports. More than $57.1 million will go to improve infrastructure at eight Texas airports.

“This significant investment at eight Texas airports will fund construction and rehabilitation projects that will help maintain high levels of safety in U.S. aviation,” Chao said.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, DFW International Airport will receive $23,194,426 to rehabilitate a taxiway. Fort Worth Alliance Airport will receive $5,500,000 to extend a taxiway. Dallas Love Field Airport will receive $2,655,841 to reconstruct and rehabilitate taxiways. George Bush Intercontinental Airport will receive $15 million to reconstruct taxiways. 

El Paso International, Wichita Falls Municipal, East Texas Regional and Tyler Pounds Regional Airport are also recipients of infrastructure grants.

This news comes nearly a year after President Trump’s Executive Order establishing the National Council for the American Worker signed last July. The administration is asking companies to sign the “Pledge to America’s Workers,” which is a commitment to reskill workers in their fields and address labor shortages.

“We are asking companies and trade organizations to sign the Pledge to America’s Workers, committing to educate, train, and reskill American workers from high-school age to near-retirement,” Chao said. 

Secretary Chao also addressed President Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and its effect on transportation. The agreement is estimated to generate $34 billion in new automotive investments and over 76 thousand jobs in America in the next five years.

“[The USMCA] is a bi-partisan agreement that delivers a win for America’s farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers,” Chao said.

Senior VP of customer experience for American Airlines Kerry Philipovitch said Chao’s announcement means good things for American Airlines.

“From our perspective, it’s great to have a strong advocate for air travel like Secretary Chao leading [the Department of Transportation],” Philipovitch said. “Today’s announcement is a demonstration of the administration’s ongoing commitment to the flying public and brings respect to the economic force of thriving U.S. airlines and airports.

“Earlier this month, we announced a $3.4 billion commitment for a new terminal here in DFW in addition to the billions of dollars of investment in our other hubs, including Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles and Miami. We’re also investing more than a billion dollars at Reagan National Airport to build a new regional terminal that will allow us to better connect many small and medium sized communities with our nation’s capital.

“Thanks to the department’s commitment and coupled with investments like the ones that American Airlines is making along with airports all across the country, it’s a good time to be traveling by air,” Philipovitch said. 

“We’re very pleased that Secretary Chao is delivering a $23 million grant to further taxpayer rehabilitation,” Khaled Naja, executive VP of infrastructure and development at DFW Airport said. “Thank you, Secretary and DOT for recognizing DFW Airport as a vital component in our nation’s transportation infrastructure. Thank you for your continued commitment to our airport.

“DFW Airport will continue to focus on innovation improving world class services to our customers, while connecting Dallas Fort Worth region to the world.”