Dallas Fort Worth International Airport will see improvements to its infrastructure through more a $180 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant provides funding for two end-around taxiway systems. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao delivered the Letter of Intent to the airport in person on June 27. The grants are funded through the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and federal appropriations.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration. Our productive partnership continues to identify innovative solutions that benefit the biggest air traffic management system in the world,” said Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport. “Today’s commitment of $180 million is further validation for the team from DFW, the FAA and NASA who designed the concept of end-around taxiways more than a decade ago. When we work together, we improve the safety and efficiency of the airfield and create more capacity on our runways, preparing us to better meet the growing demand for air travel in the United States.”
The next phase of the end-around taxiways is already under construction on DFW’s northeast quadrant, with completion anticipated by 2021. DFW Airport’s southwest quadrant taxiway is expected to be built by 2023. The federal funding included in the Letter of Intent could cover up to half of the overall cost of the next two phases.
“In a global economy, infrastructure investment helps keep the Dallas Fort Worth region competitive,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “One great way to do that is to make sure we get the most out of DFW Airport because it is vital to the transportation system of the United States and the world.”
DFW opened its first end-around taxiway system on the southeast side of the Airport in 2008.
End-around taxiways enable arriving aircraft to taxi around DFW’s seven active runways rather than wait to cross them. The taxiways enhance safety because they virtually eliminate runway crossings, reducing the risk of possible incursions. End-around taxiways ultimately produce gains in runway efficiency and reduce overall taxi times for arriving aircraft.
The taxiway projects are a key part of DFW’s overall ten-year infrastructure improvement plan, which includes enhancing or rebuilding runways, roadways, bridges and other major infrastructure needs on the airport grounds.
“DFW International Airport is now one of the busiest airports in the world, transporting over 67 million customers every year,” said Rep. Kay Granger, R- Fort Worth, in a statement. “This grant will benefit not just the Metroplex, but the nation as well. We all know how important infrastructure investment is to keep our nation’s vital systems running safely and efficiently. I know that the DFW team will make good use of this grant to ensure the airport will be ready for continued growth.”
Separately, Chao also delivered a $31 million AIP grant for the rehabilitation of Runway 17-C at the Airport. Construction on Runway 17-C is scheduled to be complete in 2019, with minimal disruption to customers.
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport in Tyler received $8 million in funding from the infrastructure grants to reconstruct Taxiway F.