Michigan airports to receive $61.8 million from feds for improvements

Riley Beggin
The Detroit News

Washington — Michigan airports will receive $61.8 million for improvement projects from the federal government, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday. 

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport will receive the bulk of the funds — $49.6 million — for projects to make bathrooms more accessible and energy efficient, replace old baggage claim belts, and upgrade passenger boarding bridges. 

Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids will receive $8.7 million to install eight new passenger boarding bridges as part of a terminal expansion. The Bishop International Airport in Flint will receive $3.5 million to replace the terminal roof. 

"We know that airports are the gateway to America's communities. They're often the first thing you see when you arrive in a new place and the last thing you see when you leave," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters Wednesday. "These investments are going to make your journeys easier."

The funding is a part of $968.6 million allocated to 85 airports across the country, which was appropriated through the bipartisan infrastructure law that passed last year. It is the first round of allocations in a five-year funding program. 

Buttigieg said it was a "very competitive" process to choose which airports will receive funding.

The agency got 658 applications from 532 airports for projects worth a collective $14 billion and chose projects that were ready for construction. 

Michigan lawmakers praised the funding Thursday. U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township called the projects "necessary upgrades to critical infrastructure" and Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, said it "will improve customer experiences at our airports."


Twitter: @rbeggin