SDFTue 3:12 PM EST
Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-03) announced today that Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) will be awarded $36.5 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Rescue Grants program. The program, created by the Yarmuth-led American Rescue Plan legislation signed into law by President Biden in March, will provide $8 billion nationwide in economic relief to eligible commercial service, reliever, and general aviation airports to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and help drive our economic recovery.
The federal funding can be used to keep people safe and employed by reimbursing operational expenses, debt service payments, and costs related to combating the spread of pathogens at the airport. Airports can also use the money to provide rent relief to in-terminal retail and concession companies. The funding requires that airports continue to employ at least 90 percent of their pre-pandemic employees for those airports that cover a majority of the traveling public.
“Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is one of the most integral parts of the economic infrastructure of our city, not only safely transporting millions of passengers to and from Louisville each year but also billions of pounds of cargo,” said Yarmuth. “I’m thrilled to see this American Rescue Plan funding being invested here to improve operations, protect workers, and ensure that passengers are kept safe as we work to fully defeat this pandemic and rebuild our economy. I’m so incredibly proud to have helped author this landmark law.”
In addition to relief for operational expenses, a significant part of SDF’s federal funding will go toward installing state-of-the-art, energy efficient mechanical systems, including upgraded HVAC that will improve air quality. The new system incorporates geothermal technology that is estimated to reduce natural gas combustion by 85% and save $400,000 annually in utility costs.
“This federal funding is instrumental in making sure both the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport and Bowman Field remain ready and well-positioned as we continue recovering from the global pandemic,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “We appreciate the efforts of Congressman Yarmuth to support on-going infrastructure improvements at Louisville’s airports, which are key drivers to the regional economy.”
Kentucky’s airports were awarded more than $89 million in total Airport Rescue Grants statewide thanks to Yarmuth’s American Rescue Plan legislation. A full list of recipients in Kentucky and nationwide can be found here.
“The Airport Rescue Grants keep workers employed and help the aviation sector recover as more Americans get vaccinated and begin traveling again,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These grants are part of the Administration’s commitment to build back a better and safer transportation system throughout our country.”
Click here to learn more about Congressman John Yarmuth.