Airport Finance: Information on Funding Sources and Planned Capital Development

Roughly 3,300 of the public-use airports across the United States have been determined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be significant to national air transportation. These airports form a national airport system intended to provide convenient access to air transportation and support important national functions, such as defense, emergency readiness, and postal delivery. These airports are eligible to receive federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants to help fund their capital development. Commercial service airports—if they choose and subject to federal approval—are also authorized to collect local passenger facility charges (PFCs) from passengers, which are also used to fund capital development projects. The Government Accoutability Office (GAO) was asked to provide information about airport infrastructure plans and funding. This report discusses (1) how much national system airports received in funding for capital development projects from 2009 through 2013 and from which sources, (2) the estimated costs of airports’ planned capital development from 2015 through 2019, (3) how past funding levels compare with planned development costs, and (4) how changes to AIP funding and the maximum allowable PFC might affect airport funding. GAO analyzed funding data and conducted a survey of state aviation officials, examined reports on airports’ development plans, assessed changes included in the President’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposal, and interviewed FAA officials, industry representatives, airport financial-consulting firms, and bond-rating agencies. GAO is not making any recommendations in this report. FAA reviewed a draft of this report and provided technical comments.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 79p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01564436
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-15-306
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 20 2015 2:27PM