DALLAS — Editor's note: The Associated Press contributed to this story.
The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is set to receive $35 million from President Joe Biden's $1 billion infrastructure law, which brings to 85 airports across the country to improve terminals.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the projects will help meet future demand for travel and make flying safer and more efficient.
“I don’t think anybody could look at airports across America today and say that the existing system and existing levels of funding have been adequate,” Buttigieg told reporters.
The grants announced Thursday are the first installment of $5 billion for airport projects that were included in an infrastructure bill that Congress approved and President Joe Biden signed last November.
The $35 million allotted for DFW will go toward constructing a zero carbon electrical central utility plant (eCUP), which will assist the airport in achieving its goal of zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Phase 1 will construct the facility and convert two of five terminals, and Phase 2 will convert the remaining three terminals and on-site hotel.
In the past, federal funds have gone largely into runways, taxiways and towers while airports paid for terminal upgrades with money they get from passenger facility charges, or PFCs — up to $4.50 per flight that is tacked onto every airline ticket.
Buttigieg said it is fine to spend taxpayer money on projects that were generally funded by passenger fees in the past because “there is a need out there; taxpayers expect it and want it.”
Congress could consider raising ticket taxes for airport projects next year. Airports want to raise the fees, but airlines don’t.
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