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American Recovery and Reinvestment Coordinating Council Report
Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission - March 24, 2009
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced the airports in Oklahoma that will receive the above-referenced funds and they are as follows:
|OKC Will Rogers||$2.3 Million|
|Pauls Valley||$1.7 Million|
|OKC Wiley Post||$0.6 Million|
During the process to determine the airport projects in Oklahoma that would be funded by stimulus funding, I have on several occasions communicated with several of you. The purpose of this communication is to provide a briefing to you regarding how these determinations were made.
Pursuant to a request from the FAA Southwest Region (FAASW) Office in Ft. Worth, the Aeronautics Commission (OAC), on Dec. 16, 2008, provided a list of airport projects at Oklahoma's federally-recognized public general aviation airports that could be designed and bid by May 1, 2009. This list featured projects at 11 general aviation airports, for a total of $51 Million. Our list did not include any projects for Oklahoma's commercial service airports (Tulsa International, OKC Will Rogers, and Lawton-Ft. Sill), as OAC is not involved in the federal funding process for commercial service airports. We do, however, channel federal funds received under the FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) annually, to general aviation airports, including the relievers, OKC Wiley Post, OU (Norman) Westheimer, and Tulsa Jones-Riverside. The Tulsa and Oklahoma City Airport Authorities submitted separate lists to the FAASW for their commercial service airports and their reliever airports. Lawton also submitted a list to the FAASW for its commercial service airport. In February, at the request of the FAA, we supplemented our original list with projects at 4 additional general aviation airports. This brought the total for the projects at the 15 general aviation airports to $62.5 Million. From the beginning of this process we were aware that any money coming through the FAA from Congress pursuant to the stimulus legislation was going to be treated as discretionary dollars under existing FAA rules regarding such discretionary dollars instead of basic apportionment dollars which come to the states through a formula. This is why, unlike ODOT, we did not know how much we would be getting for airport projects in Oklahoma until now. Several of our airports usually receive discretionary funds annually, about two-thirds of the way through the federal fiscal year. You must compete for discretionary dollars and what ranks the highest with the FAA is safety projects (e.g., the rehabilitation of a runway--not the extension). So, in a sense, this was not a new game. The only thing new was that an additional amount was going to be deposited into discretionary funds in FY '09.
Originally, based upon the House stimulus bill which had $3 Billion in it for airports, Oklahoma stood to get $25-35 Million for general aviation airport projects. If that funding level would have held, commercial service airports in Oklahoma may have received $12-16 Million. The final stimulus bill approved by Congress reduced the amount for airport projects 66% to $1.1 Billion. Naturally, this lowered the amount we are actually receiving for airport projects.
Of the $1.1 Billion for airport projects in the stimulus bill, FAASW received $115 Million. Oklahoma airport projects, for both general aviation and commercial service airports, competed with airport projects submitted by Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico (the other states which comprise the FAASW) for the $115 Million. The final determinations with respect to what projects were going to be funded with the $115 Million, were made by the head of the FAASW Airports Division and the three directors of the airport offices in the Airports Division (Arkansas-Oklahoma, New Mexico-Louisiana, and Texas).
The $16.4 Million slated for Oklahoma airport projects will go directly to the airport sponsors, the cities, and not come through the OAC. These grants will not require a local match of 5% as is the usual case with FAA airport grants. This $16.4 Million is not part of the $2.6 Billion the State of Oklahoma is receiving in ARRA funding. The FAA will hold the Oklahoma cities receiving this funding for airport projects directly responsible for meeting all the deadlines and requirements associated with this funding. We will, however, assist the FAA and the cities with meeting these requirements. We and staff from FAASW, will be meeting with all the above-referenced airport sponsors receiving grants from this funding this week in OKC. The deadlines for this funding are similar to many of the others and are as follows:
One other requirement for airport project funding that is common for funding from the ARRA is that these stimulus or economic recovery funds supplement and not supplant planned expenditures from airport-generated revenues or from other State and local sources for airport development.
Should you have any questions regarding this, please contact Dale Williams, Vivek Khanna, or Treasurer Tytenicz at (405) 604-6900.