The sweeping 2,700-page, $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R.3684) unveiled over the weekend would provide a boost to aviation with an additional $25 billion in funding for airports and air traffic control equipment, along with clean energy research support.
A bipartisan group of Senators unveiled the compromise package on Sunday and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is hoping to push the bill through the chamber before the Senate departs for August break next week. The House, which has already left for its August break but remains available for a call-back, would still need to consider the bill but is pushing for passage of a budget reconciliation bill alongside the infrastructure act to ensure additional issues are addressed.
Of note for aviation is the $25 billion in additional investment in aviation, including $5 billion that would be available for the FAA’s facilities and equipment expenses. The bill would allocate about $1 billion per year from fiscal 2022 through 2026 for air traffic control and tower equipment.
Another $15 billion is available for airport infrastructure grants through 2030, but initially allocated over a five-period. The legislation would set aside $500 million each year over the five-year period for non-primary and general aviation airports and another $20 million for the contract tower program. On top of the $15 billion is an additional $5 billion specifically for airport terminal projects. Up to 10 percent of that could be allocated to non-primary airports.
The package also addresses many other infrastructure needs across transportation and other sectors and includes a number of projects focused on clean energy and lower emissions programs. Of note are grants that would be set aside for carbon capture and hydrogen research programs.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the general aviation allocation is for each year over a five-year period.