The FAA will make available another $20 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to modernize air traffic control towers at many small town and municipal airports. There are currently 156 airports with contract air traffic control towers eligible for this funding—places like Smyrna Airport, Tenn.; Richland, N.C.; and Medford, Ore.
The FAA pays for air traffic controller services on a contract basis due to the amount of air traffic these airports have. While not as much traffic as some, these airports provide a critical connection for these communities.
The first $20 million has been awarded. Here's how it's helping grow aviation operations safely.
The first $20 million will fund 20 projects for FY2022, part of which will upgrade and build control towers in small towns and at regional airports. The goal of the annual funding is to sustain, construct, repair, improve, modernize, replace or relocate airport-owned towers and install communications equipment, allowing them to meet today's demands and keep them ready for future opportunities.
Using these resources from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can help keep people connected to their loved ones, improve the movement of goods, and expand economic opportunities for local businesses and workers.
– U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
This interactive map shows the airports receiving the grants and how the funds will be invested:
For full details on the FY22 funding amounts, see the 2022 FAA Contract Tower Competitive Grant Final Selections.
BIL established the FAA Contract Tower Competitive Grant Program, which provides $20 million in grant funding annually for five years (FY2022-2026) to sustain, construct, repair, improve, rehabilitate, modernize, replace, or relocate non-approach control towers; acquire and install air traffic control, communications, and related equipment to be used in those towers; and construct a remote tower certified by the FAA*. This program furthers the goal to mobilize American ingenuity to build modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future.
*There are currently no remote towers certified by the FAA.
The FAA is looking to award projects that align with the President’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, promote energy efficiency, support fiscally responsible land use and transportation efficient design, support development compatible with the use of sustainable aviation fuels and technologies, increase climate resilience, incorporate sustainable pavement and construction materials as allowable, and reduce pollution.
Is my airport eligible for this program?
View a list of airports eligible for the FAA Contract Tower Competitive Grant Program as of February 2022.
How to apply
The Fiscal Year 2023 application period is now open.
- Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity to learn about the program and the terms and conditions of the grant awards.
- Ensure you’re registered with System for Award Management (SAM) and you have a unique entity identifier. You must continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information while the FAA is reviewing your application.
- Complete and submit FAA Form 5100-144, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Airport Terminal and Tower Project Information, in its entirety including the tower only section. Instructions are included with the form.
- The form must be submitted electronically. Save your work as you complete the application and save a copy to your files for future reference. Use the "Submit" button at the bottom of the form when complete and it will be automatically emailed to the FAA BIL team. You may also email the form manually to: 9-ARP-BILAirports@faa.gov.
- Your complete, electronic application must be submitted by 5:00 PM ET on Tuesday, December 6, 2022.
How will my application be evaluated?
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, Section E:
- Must meet project eligibility requirements outlined under Section C.3 of the NOFO
- Timeliness of implementation
- Overall impact on the NAS including age of facility, operational constraints, nonstandard facilities conditions, or new federal contract tower entrant requirements
- Advancement of aviation safety or enhancement of air traffic efficiency
- Creation of good-paying jobs
- Description of opportunities for all workers to be trained and placed in directly related, good-paying jobs
Applicants are encouraged to submit projects that meet as many of these criteria as possible, but do not need to meet all criteria to be considered. The FAA will also consider projects that advance the goals of the following Executive Orders:
- Executive Order 13990, ‘‘Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis”
- Executive Order 13985, ‘‘Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government”
- Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad”
- Executive Order 14036, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy”
When will I hear if I received a grant?
Applicants will be notified either in writing or electronically. The Secretary of Transportation will announce a Notice of Intent to fund selected projects for Fiscal Year 2023 by the end of May 2023.
Applicants selected to receive a FAA Contract Tower Competitive Grant Program grant will then be required to follow AIP grant application procedures prior to award, which include meeting all prerequisites for funding, and submission of Standard Form SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, and FAA Form 5100-100, Application for Development Projects.
I still have questions, who do I contact?
Direct all inquiries regarding applications to the appropriate Regional Office (RO) or Airports District Office (ADO). RO/ADO contact information can be found here. Or you can contact the FAA BIL Team at 9-ARP-BILAirports@faa.gov.
- Review the full Notice of Funding Opportunity.
- Have questions about completing your application? Detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available.
- Review the full Bipartisan Infrastructure Law site and see what other opportunities may be eligible to you.