Sponsor Submittal of Capital Improvement Program

Central Regional Airports Division

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Eligible airport owners seeking Federal assistance must submit such requests for aid through the FAA Airport Capital Improvement Program (ACIP). The ACIP is an internal FAA program that serves as the primary planning tool for systematically identifying, prioritizing and assigning funds to critical airport development and associated capital needs. The FAA relies on the ACIP to serve as the basis for the distribution of limited grant funds under the Airport Improvement Program.

A Sponsor's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) represents their five-year program for planning and development at their airport. Sponsors identify individual projects by submitting a CIP Data Sheet for each work item they desire in the next three years.

To assure efficient use of limited AIP funds, the FAA has a policy that AIP Sponsors base their grant application on defined project costs (e.g. received bids or negotiated fee). To further facilitate administration of the AIP program, the FAA each year publishes a Federal Register notice that requires the Sponsor to confirm their intent to use their available entitlement funds by providing notification to the FAA project manager by May 1st of the current fiscal year. For those Sponsors that do not desire to use their available in the current fiscal year, the FAA will take appropriate action to 1) carryover that location's entitlement funds to the next fiscal year and 2) covert the current fiscal year entitlement funds to discretionary funds that are subsequently distributed based on national priorities.

The FAA project manager regards the first two years of a Sponsor's CIP plan as projects they are committed to accomplish if and when AIP funding becomes available. Sponsors should make sure projects they indicate in their CIP are shown on a current Airport Layout Plan (ALP). Such projects must also receive environmental clearance prior to the FAA program manager considering funding for the project. We caution Sponsors that once the FAA program manager approves their project by forwarding their recommendation on to FAA Headquarters, any substantial change the Sponsor requests at that point will likely result in the FAA postponing the project until a subsequent fiscal year.

By accepting a grant, Sponsor also provides assurance to the FAA that they will immediately start using the funds by carrying out their project without undue delay. Good planning and the Sponsor's commitment are essential towards assuring a successful and timely project. Sponsors who submit well justified project scope statements, accurate cost estimates and undertake advance design effort place themselves in a very favorable position at the point the FAA evaluates Sponsor readiness for receipt of AIP funds. Sponsors who do a poor job during project formulation jeopardize their inclusion in the current year AIP program.

Submittal Requirements

In order to receive consideration under the FAA's ACIP, a Sponsor prepares and submits a CIP Data Sheet for each work item listed within their CIP for the current and two subsequent federal fiscal years. Sponsors shall note that a prerequisite for AIP eligibility is that the requested work item must comply with the current approved Airport Layout Plan (ALP) and be environmentally cleared to proceed. Additionally, projects requiring discretionary funds in excess of ten million dollars require the Sponsor to prepare and submit a benefit/cost analysis.

The Sponsor shall identify the name of the airport, the project description and the local priority of the requested work. The data sheet must also include the following information:

  • Sketch - color-coded sketch that depicts and identifies the scope of the proposed project.
  • Justification - the justification statement should be brief and yet describe the specific need for each requested work item.
  • Detailed Cost Estimate - A cost estimate for each work item shall be submitted with sufficient detail to permit a review for reasonableness of fees. The total cost estimate (including, engineering, administrative, legal, and appraisal costs, etc. and excluding contingency costs) should show the breakout of Federal, State and Local shares.
  • Sponsor’s Verification - The verification that the project is properly planned and is ready to “go” within the first year of the three-year CIP program period. Proposed development and land acquisition must be shown on an approved ALP, have cleared environmental processing, and the land already acquired or have a signed purchase agreement. These requirements do not apply to equipment acquisitions. Sponsors must complete these conditions before a project can be considered for funding. For the second and third years of the CIP program, the sponsor should be working towards satisfying these requirements.
  • If required, evidence of State and Regional Clearinghouse coordination must be provided along with the CIP Data Sheet.


Land acquisition grants are reimbursements for land already purchased or under a contract to purchase. If you are planning to acquire land, the your CIP submittal should show the request for a land reimbursement grant one fiscal year after you expect to close on the property.

Snow and Ice Equipment

When requesting Federal assistance for snow removal equipment, please include an inventory of the existing equipment and calculations based on Chapters 4 & 5 of the Airport Winter Safety and Operations, Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5200-30 and the Airport Snow and Ice Control Equipment, AC 150/5220-20 along with the CIP Data Sheet. For the Sponsor's convenience, we have created a Snow Removal Equipment Sizing Calculator (MS Excel) to assist in determining the minimum size and number of SRE equipment needed for the specific location.

Pavement Reconstruction

For pavement reconstruction, the Sponsor must submit an engineering report that support the need for reconstruction. If a current engineering report is not available, consult with the FAA Program Manager and the Paving Engineer to determine if a design-only grant is appropriate to assist with establishing the most cost effective approach that addresses the pavement condition and distresses.

GA Apron Expansion

If requesting Federal assistance for general aviation apron expansion, include calculations based on Appendix 5 of the Airport Design Advisory Circular 150/5300-13 along with the CIP Data Sheet. This calculation establishes the size of the apron justified for AIP participation. For the Sponsor's convenience, we have created a Apron Area Calculator (MS Excel) to assist in determining the apron size justified for AIP participation.

GA Revenue Producing Facilities

If requesting Federal assistance for revenue producing facilities (fuel farms, hangers, etc.), please contact the State Airport Planner responsible for your state to discuss AIP Revenue Producing Facility Policy and eligibility requirements.  Please submit the following items along with the CIP Data Sheet;

  1. A statement that all airside development projects are complete or a financial plan to fund airside needs over the next three years (Note: Once a Sponsor completes a revenue producing project with AIP funds, the Sponsor may not receive discreationary funding for the next 3 fiscal years)
  2. A statement that all approach surfaces are clear of obstructions to the 20:1 approach surface as shown on the current FAA Form 5010 - Airport Master Record
  3. A statement of existing need showing capacity justification for the project.

Timing of Submission

The sponsor may submit a request-for-aid at any time during the year. However, in order to be included in a specific federal fiscal year (FFY: October 1 – September 30), timely submittal of the request is essential. Sponsors should typically submit requests for a particular federal fiscal year by February of the previous federal fiscal year. For example, requests for FFY 2014 should be submitted by February of 2013.


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Last updated: Tuesday, August 2, 2022