Ridgway Record

Three Pennsylvan­ia airports receive $39M for upgrades

- By Lauren Jessop The Center Square contributo­r

(The Center Square) – Three Pennsylvan­ia airports will receive a combined $39 million in federal funding for a variety of upgrades as part of the Infrastruc­ture Investment and Jobs Act.

Harrisburg, Philadelph­ia, and Pittsburgh Internatio­nal Airports are three of 99 locations across the country each receiving a share of $1 billion in 2023. In 2022, 85 airports last year – including Philadelph­ia, Pittsburgh, and Lehigh Valley Internatio­nal

Airports – received a combined total of $49 million.

The FAA's announceme­nt said air traffic is poised to reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels this year and the funding will help meet that demand. Additional­ly, investment­s made in these key areas will move travelers in and out of airports more quickly and improve their overall experience.

Philadelph­ia Internatio­nal Airport received two $15 million grants for a total of $30 million.

The first $15 million supports phase two of the airport's bathroom renovation­s. Last year, the airport received $24 million to create additional restroom space throughout the terminal.

The project, which is scheduled for completion in 2028, includes smart technology to optimize maintenanc­e schedules, as well as the constructi­on of private nursing suites, service animal relief areas, and adult assisted-care changing rooms.

The second grant will be used to improve energy efficiency by replacing preconditi­oned air and ground units at gates, install LED lighting in terminals and on roadways, and upgrade electrical and thermal power stations.

Harrisburg Internatio­nal Airport is receiving $5.5 million to upgrade its baggage handling system with energy efficient components.

The airport serves one of the fastest growing regions in the state, and this funding is helping Pennsylvan­ians reach their destinatio­n smoother and with fewer delays, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA, said in a statement.

Pittsburgh is slated to receive $3.5 million, the second installmen­t of a two-year commitment of $23.5 million towards the constructi­on of a new 700,000 square foot terminal.

Airport management says the new terminal will drasticall­y shorten walking distances for travelers and additional security lanes will reduce wait times. Interior spaces have been designed to allow for efficient passenger flow and include expanded dining and shopping areas.

In the airport's statement, U.S Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Pittsburgh, said this investment provides people with easy access in and out of western PA, and as the area continues to develop, the airport will play a pivotal role in the region's growth.

“Today's funding doesn't just improve airport terminals,” said Deputy FAA Administra­tor A. Bradley Mims. “It creates opportunit­ies in communitie­s large and small for good-paying jobs and a chance to be part of our country's thriving aviation sector.”

In 2022, Lehigh Valley Internatio­nal Airport in Allentown received $5 million to add lanes to their security screening checkpoint.

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