Airport Improvement Program:

Allocation of Funds From 1982 to 1992

RCED-94-14FS: Published: Oct 19, 1993. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP), focusing on FAA program management and AIP fund disbursement.

GAO found that: (1) FAA uses AIP funds to support airport planning and development projects that enhance airport capacity, safety, security, and noise reduction; (2) airports receive AIP funding for specific airport projects through legislated entitlements and set-asides and FAA has discretionary authority over the remaining AIP funds for individual airport needs; (3) AIP allocated about $13 billion for airport improvements at 2,655 airports on the National Plan of Integrated Airport System list between 1982 and 1992; (4) AIP entitlements decreased to 56.5 percent, set-asides increased to 27.75 percent, and discretionary grants increased to 15.75 percent between 1982 and 1992; (5) AIP discretionary grants have decreased because Congress has limited FAA use of discretionary funds; (6) although the amount of funding distributed to FAA regions has varied since 1982, the percentage of funding received by each region has remained constant; (7) larger passenger airports receive 69 percent of AIP funds; (8) although the annual distribution of AIP project funds has remained constant, 55 percent of AIP funds are obligated for runway, taxiway, and apron pavement; (9) some projects receive increased funding because of new programs and requirements; and (10) airports tended to use entitlements for terminal and roadway development and discretionary funds for noise reduction and airport capacity projects.