First Economic Recovery Act Money Released; U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $12 Million for Pennsylvania Airports

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced that Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airports will receive the first funding allocations for airport infrastructure projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"This is money that will create jobs now - but it's also an investment in the long-term safety of our airports and their economic vitality," said Vice President Biden. "This is a critical investment in our nation's airport infrastructure that will boost the local economy by providing jobs for Pittsburgh-area residents," said Secretary LaHood. "The Recovery Act is helping us accelerate funding to key projects and invest in the continued safe and efficient operation of our airports," said Acting FAA Administrator Lynne Osmus. The FAA will allocate $10 million to Pittsburgh International Airport to repair Runway 14-32, one of four commercial service runways. The project includes grading, paving, marking signs, and lighting upgrades to the runway. Pittsburgh serves 4.8 million passengers per year. The $2 million allocation for Allegheny County, a general aviation airport, will renovate a taxiway and relocate a ramp. The Allegheny County Airport Authority operates both airports. About 3,400 airports designated as part of the national airport system are eligible to receive Recovery Act funds. The FAA is moving swiftly to Work with airport sponsors to ensure that eligible projects have completed or nearly completed, design and planning requirements. Under the Recovery Act, the FAA received $1 billion to allocate to qualified airports on a discretionary basis. That funding will be allocated based on a project priority system that addresses airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts. The Recovery Act also requires that 50 percent of the funds be obligated within 120 days, which is June 17, 2009.
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