Puerto Rico’s 10 airports assigned $21.3M in federal grants
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $21.3 million during fiscal 2024 to modernize airport infrastructure, improve runway safety and create jobs at 10 Puerto Rico airports.
The funding is available under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is included in a total $245.9 million encompassing 153 grants across 37 states, Puerto Rico included, the agency announced.
The island’s main airport, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), will receive $12.1 million, the highest allocation, followed by $3 million for Rafael Hernández Airport in Aguadilla, and $1.4 million for Mercedita Airport in Ponce. Four regional airports — José Aponte de La Torre Airport in Ceiba, Benjamín Rivera Noriega airport in Culebra, Antonio Rivera Rodríguez Airport in Vieques, and Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in San Juan — will each receive slightly more than $1 million in grants.
Eugenio Maria De Hostos Airport in Mayagüez will receive $294,000, Antonio Nery Juarbe Airport in Arecibo will get $144,000, and Dr. Hermenegildo Ortiz Quiñones Airport in Humacao will receive $113,000, according to the FAA’s breakdown.
“We saw a record number of passengers fly during the recent holiday season, and we can expect increased demand for air travel to continue,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These investments from the Biden-Harris administration are making it possible to modernize our country’s aging airport infrastructure to meet this demand today and ensure safe, efficient travel into the future.”
In 2023, Muñoz Marín Airport reported that 12 million passengers used the facility for departures and arrivals, marking a traffic record.
“The record in passenger traffic we have achieved represents income from tourism and job creation and greater opportunities for economic development for the island,” said Jorge Hernández, president of Aerostar, which manages the airport, during a news conference last month.
“A good summer season and another strong month in November have been key to this achievement, which is a collective effort. The multimillion-dollar investment in improvements we made, the efforts of the airlines to expand the flight schedule and the promotion of the island have contributed to reaching the previous records” in 2023, he said.