The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected three of the country’s airports to be eligible for grants to add civilian aviation operations.

The three airports approved to apply for Airport Improvement Grants are:

  • Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas (SKF) 

  • Mobile Downtown Airport in Mobile, Alabama (BFM)

  • Salina Regional Airport in Salina, Kansas (SLN)

The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides grants to public agencies and, in some cases, to private owners and entities, for the planning and development of public-use airports that are included in The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS)

“Adding civilian flights to these airports increases their role in fostering economic growth and creating jobs in their communities,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in the FAA's press release.  

“Working with local stakeholders, the Military Airport Program is an innovative and fiscally responsible way to help improve prior military facilities and make them an important economic driver for their communities,” FAA Associate Administrator of Airports Shannetta Griffin said. 

The Military Airport Program (MAP) is a grant set-aside from the AIP.

Through this program, the FAA awards funding to the civil sponsor of a military airfield for the development of aviation facilities to be used by the public. 

The program assists new sponsors in converting former military airfields for public use, adding system capacity and reducing congestion at existing airports. It helps fund projects such as surface parking lots, fuel farms, hangars, utility systems, access roads, cargo buildings, and other airfield-related infrastructure.

The MAP also provides financial assistance to civilian sponsors who are converting military airfields to civilian or joint military/civilian use.

The FAA will work with each of the three airports to determine specific funding needs. Further information regarding the development of the airports are:

  • Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas (SKF): currently a joint-use general aviation airport, will participate in the program for five years. The FAA may possibly provide funds for developing a building, parking lot, aircraft parking apron, hangar, and connector taxiways.

  • Mobile Downtown Airport in Mobile, Alabama (BFM): a primary non-hub airport located on the former Brookley Air Force Base, will also participate in the program for five years. The FAA may be able to provide funds for utility construction, improving airport drainage, parking lot construction, and an apron reconstruction project. 

  • Salina Regional Airport in Salina, Kansas (SLN): a primary non-hub airport on the former Schilling Air Force Base, may receive funds to rehabilitate a fuel farm and parking lot. The airport will be in the program for four years.

The MAP allows the FAA to designate up to 15 joint-use or former military airports to participate each fiscal year. Three of the 15 airports are to be general aviation airports and the remaining 12 must be commercial service or reliever airports. 

Airports already in the program for the fiscal year are:

  • Tipton Airport in Odenton, Maryland (FME)

  • Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport in Killeen, Texas (GRK)

  • Roswell International Air Center in Roswell, New Mexico (ROW)

  • Sawyer International Airport in Gwinn, Michigan (MQT)

Selected airports are designated for a period of one to five years. Previously selected airports may re-apply to the program. This is the first time each of the three airports will participate in the program.