Airport Improvement Program

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Transportation , Federal Aviation Administration
CFDA #: 20.106

Purpose of this program:

To assist sponsors, owners, or operators of public-use airports in the development of a nationwide system of airports adequate to meet the needs of civil aeronautics.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Grants can be made for integrated airport system planning in a specific area; and airport master planning, construction, or rehabilitation at a public-use airport or portion thereof. Authorizing legislation refers to an airport as any area of land or water used or intended to be used for the landing or taking off of aircraft and includes, within the five categories of airports listed below, special types of facilities such as seaplane bases and heliports. The statute further defines airports by categories which include commercial service, primary, cargo service, reliever, and general aviation airports. They are defined as follows: Commercial Service Airports are publicly owned airports that have at least 2,500 passenger boarding each year and receive scheduled passenger service. Passenger boarding refer to revenue passenger boarding on an aircraft in service in air commerce. The definition also includes passengers who continue on an aircraft in international flight that stops at an airport in any of the 50 states for a non traffic purpose. Passenger boarding at airports that receive scheduled passenger service are also referred to as Enplanements. Nonprimary Commercial Service Airports are Commercial Service Airports that have at least 2,500 and no more than 10,000 passenger boarding each year. Primary Airports are Commercial Service Airports that have more than 10,000 passenger boarding each year. These airports are further categorized as Hub Airports, based on the level of passenger boarding. Hub categories for Primary Airports are defined as a percentage of total passenger boarding in the most current calendar year ending before the start of the current fiscal year. The definition and formulae used for designating Primary Airports by Hub Type and Percentage of Annual Passenger Boarding are: Large 1 percent or more; Medium - at least 0.25 percent, but less than 1 percent; Small - at least 0.05 percent, but less than 0.25 percent; and Non hub - more than 10,000, but less than 0.05 percent. Cargo Service Airports are airports that, in addition to any other air transportation services that may be available, are served by aircraft providing air transportation of only cargo with a total annual landed weight of more than 100 million pounds. Reliever Airports are airports designated by the FAA to relieve congestion at a Commercial Service Airport and to provide more general aviation access to the overall community. The remaining airports, while not specifically defined in Title 49 U.S.C., are referred to as General Aviation Airports and comprise the largest single group of airports in the U.S. airport system. Eligible work at airports consists of: (1) airport master plans; (2) airport noise compatibility plans; (3) land acquisition; (4) site preparation; (5) construction, alteration, and rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, aprons, and certain roads within airport boundaries; (6) construction and installation of airfield lighting, navigational aids, and certain offsite work; (7) safety equipment required for certification of airport facility; (8) security equipment required of the sponsor by the Secretary of Transportation by rule or regulation for the safety and security of persons and property on the airport; (9) snow-removal equipment; (10) terminal development; (11) aviation-related weather reporting equipment; (12) equipment to measure runway surface friction; (13) burn area training structures and land for that purpose, on or off airport; (14) agency-approved noise compatibility projects; (15) relocation of air traffic control towers and navigational aids (including radar) if they impede other projects funded under AIP; (16) land, paving, drainage, aircraft deicing equipment and structures for centralized deicing areas; and (17) projects to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Clean Air Act, and Federal Water Pollution Control. Grants may notbemade

Who is eligible to apply...

States, counties, municipalities, U.S. Territories and possessions, other public agencies including an Indian tribe or pueblo, the republics of the Marshall Islands and Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia, are eligible for airport development grants if the airport on which the development is required is listed in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). Certain units of local government may be eligible for grants to implement noise compatibility projects. Private owners of public-use reliever airports or airports having at least 2,500 passenger boarding annually and receiving scheduled passenger aircraft service are eligible.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Sponsors must submit information establishing financial capability and legal authority to accomplish the project and to operate the airport. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Preapplication for Federal Assistance, SF 424, Part I (facesheet) filed with FAA field office, reviewed by the regional office and/or Washington office for program approval, as appropriate. For master plans (may be combined as part of development project), noise compatibility plans, and system plans, SF-424 and Parts II through V of FAA Form 5100-101, Application for Federal Assistance, must be submitted to FAA field offices. Level of approval is dependent on the type of airport and amount of FAA monies requested. No State plan is required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Upon program approval for development projects, applicant submits project application, SF 424, Part I (facesheet) and remaining parts of FAA Form 5100-100 to FAA field office. Master, noise compatibility, and system plan grant applications are submitted to FAA field offices and upon approval, grant offers are made by FAA field offices. Either the district or regional office prepares Grant Offer, FAA Form 5100-37, for planning and development for execution by FAA applicant.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Primary airport sponsors must notify FAA by January 31 or another date specified in the Federal Register of their intent to apply for funds to which they are entitled under Section 47102 of Title 49, United States Code. A reminder is published annually in the Federal Register. Other sponsors are encouraged to submit early in the fiscal year and to contact the appropriate FAA field office for any local deadlines. Sponsors must formally accept grant offers no later than September 30 for grant funds appropriated in that fiscal year.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 120 days. If the project is challenged on environmental grounds, approval may take longer.

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. A Preapplication conference is recommended but not required. Consultation and assistance available at FAA Offices. Applications should be reviewed under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 83 Stat. 852; and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, 49 U.S.C. 1653. An environmental assessment will be needed for some projects. The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by 49 CFR 18, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments, must be used for this program.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Not applicable.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).



Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

States, counties, municipalities, U.S. Territories and possessions, and other public agencies including an Indian tribe or pueblo, the republics of the Marshall Islands and Palau, The Federated States of Micronesia, and private owners of reliever airports or airports having at least 2,500 passenger boarding annually and receiving scheduled passenger aircraft service.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

Advisory Services and Counseling

Programs which provide Federal specialists to consult, advise, or counsel communities or individuals to include conferences, workshops, or personal contacts. This may involve the use of published information, but only in a secondary capacity.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$4,600 to $39,750,000. Average: $1,464,066.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 03 $3,400,000,000; FY 04 $3,400,000,000; and FY 05 est $3,500,000,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Construct new public airports; improve and rehabilitate existing public airports; extend runways at existing public airports; purchase fire fighting, rescue, security, snow removal and noise suppressing equipment; acquire land; and install navigation aids. Planning at individual airports includes demand/capacity analysis, airport noise control and land use compatibility analysis, environmental studies, and system plans for states, regions, and metropolitan areas.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

In fiscal year 2003, 2,234 grant agreements were executed.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Only those Airport Improvement Program (AIP) projects considered by the FAA Administrator to be necessary to provide for a safe and efficient airport system and to meet the current and projected growth of civil aeronautics will be considered for selection. The airports at which AIP projects are proposed must be included in the National Plan of Integrated Airports Systems (NPIAS).

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

No set period of time. Assistance is released upon application for reimbursement of expenses or by letter of credit.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Current Federal government share of allowable costs are as follows. (1) Projects at large and medium hub primary commercial service airports: Airport development, 75 percent; terminal development, 75 percent; noise compatibility program implementation, 80 percent; master planning and noise compatibility planning, 75 percent. (2) Projects at all other public use airports (includes commercial service other than large and medium hub general aviation, reliever, other commercial service, and eligible privately owned airports): Airport development, noise compatibility program implementation, terminal development, airport planning and noise compatibility planning all at 90 percent. Entities eligible to sponsor system planning studies include State, local and federally recognized tribal governments, designated metropolitan planning organizations, U.S. Territories and possessions, the Republics of the Marshall Islands and Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia . The range of financial or other matching assistance required from nonfederal sources, varies from 10 percent to 25 percent depending on the category of the sponsor, the type of project and the amount of public land in the State.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


During the project, the sponsor monitors performance to ensure that time schedules are being met. Periodic reports, as required, are forwarded to FAA.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 27, 2003); Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in circular No. A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Sponsors' records are required to be made available for inspection by FAA, OIG/DOT and the General Accounting Office. An airport layout plan must be kept up to date and available as long as the grant agreement lasts, ordinarily a period of 20 years. Accounting records reflecting all project costs, books, documents, and records pertinent to grants are to be retained for 3 years after date of submission of final expenditure report.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Public Law 103-272.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Federal Aviation Administration Order and Advisory Circulars (FAA Order 5100.38A, Airport Improvement Program Handbook, and FAA Advisory Circulars in the l50/5100 series).

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Persons are encouraged to contact the Federal Aviation Administration Regional Offices listed in Additional Contact Information - FMR Help.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Airport Planning and Programming, Airports Financial Assistance Division, APP-500, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591. Telephone: (202) 267-3831.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: