Survey highlights slim budgets for small-airport improvement

 - August 3, 2010, 3:57 AM

Another casualty of the economic downturn could be funding for necessary airport infrastructure projects, according to Kathryn Solee, director of operations for the National Association of State Aviation Officials. Speaking June 30 at the American Association of Airport Executives General Aviation Issues conference in Morristown, N.J., she cited the results of a recent survey which found that 48 percent of the states responding said their fiscal year 2010 budget was down 22 percent on average from last year, while 37 percent reported that their 2011 budgets would be down an additional 12 percent. Nineteen percent of the states responded that there would be no state funding for airport improvement in fiscal year 2011, while 11 percent claimed they would be unable to match their federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant money. Some respondents estimated that this would continue at least through 2013; many saw the trend continuing longer. “The inability of the states to match federal AIP money is especially significant to the smaller communities that often don’t have the funds to match,” Solee told AIN.