The Indianapolis Airport Authority has been awarded nearly $13 million in grants. The support from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Indiana Department of Transportation will pay for six electric buses, taxiway rehabilitation, emergency notification equipment and help with stormwater management efforts. A portion of the funding will also go to improvements at Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport in Fishers, the Eagle Creek Airpark, Indianapolis Regional Airport in Mt. Comfort and the downtown Indianapolis heliport.
IAA Executive Director Mario Rodriguez says officials have recently taken a different path to requesting funding. "We’ve gone directly to the top of the FAA" with requests, he tells Inside INdiana Business. "Instead of basically having it trickle up through the organization, we’ve opted for a strategy to push it down through the operation." Rodriguez says this approach has included meetings with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
The IAA says the grants could create nearly 220 direct and indirect jobs in central Indiana. Members of the Indiana Delegation in Washington D.C., including Congressman Andre Carson, Congresswoman Susan Brooks, Congressman Todd Rokita and Senator Joe Donnelly, wrote letters of support to help secure the grants.
The authority will receive $2.6 million through the Zero Emissions Vehicle grant program, which is the largest award of its kind from the FAA this year.
Rodriguez says "these grants enable us to ensure our goals of maintaining and operating the airport facilities in a way that maximizes the life of those facilities as assets to the community – and to continue to be an example of safety, security and environmental stewardship." In all, Rodriguez says the airport will have secured some $28 million in federal money over the last two years.
IAA Executive Director Mario Rodriguez says officials have recently taken a different path to requesting funding.