Federal funding programs
Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding is available to airports that are part of the National Plan of Integrated Airports System (NPIAS). Administered by the FAA, the AIP provides funds for projects to improve infrastructure, including runways, taxiways, aprons, noise control, land purchases, navigational aids, safety and security.
There are 79 airports in Iowa that are eligible for federal funding.
The AIP is funded by aviation related fees and taxes such as airline ticket taxes, segment and international travel fees, cargo fees and aircraft fuel taxes that are deposited into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. AIP money is distributed by the FAA through formulas set by law for entitlement and discretionary grants determined by the FAA.
Projects funded through the AIP program must be justified and eligible according to guidelines established by the FAA. FAA Advisory Circulars provide guidance on design, construction and operations of airports that meet federal standards. When accepting federal funding, airport sponsors agree to maintain airports according to federal grant assurances. The FAA's AIP Sponsor Guide provides a good reference for information on project formulation, grant application and project construction.
Federal AIP Preapplications and the Iowa DOT
Iowa is a channeling state, which means that general aviation airports that are eligible for federal funds and small commercial service airports with fewer than 10,000 enplanements are required to submit preapplications for the AIP to the Iowa DOT.
Preapplications are submitted in January, and forwarded to the FAA in February after the Iowa Transportation Commission has approved prioritization of the preapplications. The FAA reviews the preapplications and recommends projects based on the federal airport improvement project prioritization and other qualitative factors. Projects must be justified and eligible, and have appropriate planning in place prior to a project being recommended for funding.
General aviation airports and commercial service airports with fewer than 10,000 enplanements receive nonprimary entitlement (NPE) up to $150,000 per year. Nonprimary entitlement is designated for use at specific airports; however, projects must be eligible and justified. The NPE can be carried over and accumulate for four years. Airports are also eligible to receive state apportionment and discretionary funding that is also programmed by the FAA.
Additional information on the pre-application process can be found in: