FAA awards $18M in infrastructure grants to airports in New Mexico

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Four Corners Regional Airport and the Shiprock Airstrip are among urban, regional and rural airports in New Mexico to receive funding for infrastructure projects that will increase safety and sustainability.

Four entities in the northwest region of New Mexico will benefit from the funding.

Approximately $18 million has been allocated to 46 airports in the state from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law in November.

The grants were awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration, which explained that the funding can be invested in runways, taxiways, safety and sustainability projects, as well as terminal, airport-transit connections and roadway projects.

The Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington will receive $295,000 while the Aztec Municipal Airport will receive $110,000.

On the Navajo Nation, the Shiprock Airstrip and the Crownpoint Airport will each receive $110,000. Both are managed by the Navajo Division of Transportation.

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The Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, seen in this undated photo, will get almost 300,000 in funds via the Federal Aviation Administration for airport improvements. The money was allocated from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed in November.

Democratic members of New Mexico's congressional delegation commented about the allocations in statements on Dec. 17.

"Local airports connect communities all across New Mexico to tourism, business opportunities and commercial aviation," U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich said. "Democrats in the New Mexico delegation fought hard for these historic investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will modernize our airports and allow them to better serve travelers, health care providers and businesses all across our state."

U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández reiterated that airports connect communities across the state.

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The runway at the Shiprock Airstrip underwent a renovation project in July 2018.

"This $18 million will improve runways, taxiways and other projects to revitalize New Mexico airports, grow our economy and create good-paying jobs," Leger Fernández said.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act received bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. It directs billions to states and local governments to upgrade the nation's aging roads, bridges and public transportation systems.

When 13 House Republicans supported the bill in November, they quickly faced backlash from fellow party members.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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