House OKs Graves’ bill to hasten federal funding of airport projects

Legislation led by U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) that would permit the use of incentive payments to expedite certain federally financed airport development projects received approval by the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 1.

“Time is money in infrastructure project construction, and that includes at the nation’s airports,” said Rep. Graves, ranking member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  “This is a smart reform that already works for road and bridge project construction, and delivering airport projects ahead of schedule can help save money and essentially provide a similar impact as increasing investment without any additional federal resources.”

The Expedited Delivery of Airport Infrastructure Act of 2020, H.R. 5912, was sponsored in February by Rep. Graves with lead cosponsor U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA). The bill would ensure that Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds may be used by airports to incentivize the early completion of runway and airport projects, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Graves’ office, which noted that the AIP program provides grants to public agencies and other entities for the planning, development and completion of infrastructure projects at public-use airports.

Specifically, H.R. 5912 would allow airports to use up to $1 million in AIP money to incentivize a contractor to complete the project early. Use of incentive payments would be at the discretion of the airport operator, according to the summary.

The bill has been endorsed by the Airports Council International – North America, the American Association of Airport Executives, and the Associated General Contractors of America.