6 airports wait for federal money
By Michael Randall
Published: 2:00 AM – 11/03/11
STEWART AIRPORT — Sen. Chuck Schumer says six local airports could benefit from the infrastructure portion of President Obama’s jobs bill.
Congress didn’t act on an overall jobs bill, but supporters now are trying to get portions of it passed. Schumer, D-N.Y., said the infrastructure bill includes $2 billion to supplement the Airport Improvement Program over two years. The program was funded for nearly $3.38 billion in fiscal 2010. The bill also includes money for roads, bridges and sewers.
The Senate could act on the bill as soon as Thursday. The House has not acted on it yet.
Airports must apply for competitive grants to get a portion of the money. “The applications go through a rigorous review process and compete with other projects across the country to ensure that taxpayers aren’t funding any runways to nowhere,” Schumer said.
Six local airports have about $77 million in infrastructure projects pending between now and 2015 that the Federal Aviation Administration has deemed eligible for the AIP funding, Schumer said. The largest in the local allocation is $32.55 million worth of projects at Stewart International Airport. The Port Authority, which runs Stewart, has made infrastructure and safety improvements there a priority. Since taking over the airport four years ago, the agency has completed a number of projects, including new parking lots and improved runway lighting.
Orange County Airport in Montgomery has $27.58 million in pending projects that are eligible. Other eligible airports include: Sullivan County International Airport in Bethel, $9.85 million; Joseph Y. Resnick Airport in Ellenville, $4.18 million; Kingston-Ulster Airport, $2.3 million; and Randall Airport in the Town of Wallkill, $537,919.
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