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OCR for page 65
CHAPTER 7 Funding Alternatives 7.1 Introduction Many of the considerations addressed in this guidebook may require airport operators to make significant financial investments in infrastructure and/or facilities. But with the wide range of existing facilities, localized development considerations, and varying material costs around the country, it is not feasible to provide general cost guidance. Working with a local airport development professional is the best way to identify the costs that may be incurred for a specific airport. Developing a list of future desired airport projects to be ready for the new generation of GA aircraft is the easier part; funding the implementation may be more of a challenge. Several sources exist today that are being used for the development of airports, the most common being FAA grant monies. Overall, GA airports may have limited funding options unless they are part of a larger community or airport system. 7.2 Federal Grants FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) monies are the typical source of funding for airport development. The most recent AIP funding authorization, Vision 100--Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, continued the non-primary baseline appropriation of $150,000 per year per airport that was established in Federal fiscal year 2001 by its predecessor Act, AIR-21, providing that the minimum appropriation was made by Congress. All GA and reliever airports included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS), which is a Federal plan comprising more than 3,400 existing and proposed airports, are eligible for non-primary funding. GA airports may also be able to obtain AIP apportionment and discretionary funding by working with the FAA and State oversight agencies. The FAA uses a priority system to identify projects, with the highest priority being given to safety, security, and preservation of existing infrastructure. The existing AIP provides 95% of the funds at GA airports for eligible development projects with the remaining 5% coming from state grants and/or local funds. Eligible development projects typically are non-revenue-producing, although current legislation allows some revenue- producing projects to be funded, if all other airport needs are met. AIP funding is used for a range of projects as shown in Figure 7-1. The preparation of an Airport Capital Improvement Program (ACIP), which is a 5-year plan showing desired airport improvement projects, is the first step in documenting facility needs. Airspace and environmental approval is also required before a project is eligible for AIP funding. Airspace approval typically is accomplished through inclusion of the project on the airport's approved Airport Layout Plan or other airspace approval process. Environmental approval 65