Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to receive $14.4 million grant from Biden’s $1 billion infrastructure plan

Entrance sign to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
Entrance sign to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 7:39 AM MST|Updated: Jul. 7, 2022 at 8:17 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) - The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport will receive a $14.4 million grant as part of President Joe Biden’s nearly $1 billion bipartisan infrastructure law, meant to improve airport terminals across the U.S.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the projects will help meet future demand for travel and make flying safer and more efficient. “I don’t think anybody could look at airports across America today and say that the existing system and existing levels of funding have been adequate,” Buttigieg told reporters. The various grants for US airports are the first installment of $5 billion for airport projects included in an infrastructure bill Congress approved and Biden signed in November of 2021.

The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport says that it will use the money for a 21,000-square-foot terminal expansion and to replace a temporary four-gate facility with a five-gate ADA-compliant area.

“We’re proud our infrastructure law makes these historic investments strengthening safety and modernizing Arizona’s airports,” said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

“Thanks to our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this investment will support the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s efforts to improve safety and boost capacity at a time of growing demand for air travel in our state and across the country,” added Sen. Mark Kelly.

According to Rep. Greg Stanton, passenger traffic is expected to grow by more than 50 percent over the next 10 to 15 years. The airport already sees 2 million passengers annually and offers non-stop service to more than 60 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

“This is a big win for the East Valley’s economy. A new permanent terminal will make Gateway Airport even more attractive for investment and opportunity, and support expanded travel and job opportunities for residents,” Rep. Stanton said.

Around the country, the biggest grant will put $60 million forward to improve the terminal space and replace the bag-handling system at Denver International Airport, $50 million apiece for Boston’s Logan Airport and Orlando International Airport in Florida, $49.6 million for Washington, D.C.’s Dulles Airport, and others.

The Federal Aviation Administration said 532 airports submitted applications for 658 projects that, if all had been granted, would have totaled more than $14 billion. Typically federal funds go toward runway and taxiway maintenance, towers, passenger facilities, etc. — a fund contributed to by the $4.50 per flight fee that is included in every airline ticket. Congress may consider raising ticket taxes for airport projects next year.