The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Alexandria International Airport, in Alexandria, LA, and Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, AZ, to participate in the 2009 Military Airport Program (MAP), which uses federal funds to convert former military airports to civilian or joint-use airports. The MAP funding, a set aside of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), provides a boost to civilian aviation capacity by upgrading former military airports.
The airports selected this year have participated in the program before and remain committed to ensuring that critical airport projects are completed so their respective airports can operate safely and efficiently as civilian facilities.
Alexandria International Airport (AEX), a commercial service airport, will participate in the program for another three years. The MAP funds will allow AEX to replace the aging former Air Force fueling facility. The existing facility is archaic by today’s commercial standards. The replacement of this facility, along with those projects already completed, will bring the airport to current civil design standards.
Phoenix/Mesa Gateway (IWA) will receive funds for an additional three years to complete additional terminal area projects due to the rapid growth at this non-hub commercial service airport. In late 2007, Allegiant Air began air service at IWA and within two months the airport had 21,103 passenger boardings. In the first nine months of 2008, there were 120,150 passenger boardings with the planes 88 percent full.
The MAP funding set aside is $23.7 million for all the airports participating in the program for fiscal year 2009. The type of projects that compete for MAP funding include building or rehabilitating parking lots, fuel farms, hangars, utility systems, access roads, and cargo buildings.
A total of 15 airports may participate in the program at any one time, including one general aviation airport. Airports may receive financial assistance for up to five years.
Since 1990, the FAA has provided airport sponsors approximately $563 million for a variety of projects that are not normally eligible for AIP funding. However, projects for MAP-designated airports have unique eligibility rules to convert the airports to civilian or joint use.
Airports already participating in the program include:
- Plattsburgh International Airport, Plattsburgh, NY
- Sawyer International Airport, Marquette, MI
- Portsmouth International Airport, Pease, NH
- San Bernardino International, San Bernardino, CA
- Jose Aponte de la Torre Airport at Roosevelt Roads, Ceiba, PR
- Griffiss Airpark, Oneida County, NY
- Okaloosa Regional Airport, Valparaiso, FL
- March Inland Port, Riverside, CA
- Chippewa County International, Sault Ste Marie, MI
- A.B. Won Pat International Airport, Agana, GU