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Susan Wild: $5 million grant will help 'critical' LV International Airport


Lehigh Valley International Airport has secured a $5 million grant that will go toward expanding and improving the facility, Representative Susan Wild (PA- 7) announced Friday.

According to a release from Wild's office, the Federal Aviation Administration grant will be utilized to install a new four-lane Transportation Security Administration screen checkpoint to improve TSA line wait times and expand capacity.

“The Lehigh Valley International Airport is a critical piece of infrastructure and an economic driver for our district: providing jobs, bringing visitors, and connecting us with the world,” Wild said. “I fought for funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make investments in local airports like ABE that will have a direct impact on the local economy.”

Lehigh Valley International Airport is the fourth largest airport in Pennsylvania, offering flights through Allegiant, American, Delta and United Airlines. The airport has been around since 1929— the very first hangar is still standing on the property— and offering commercial flight services since 1935.

This project is funded by the Airport Terminal Program, one of three aviation programs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The law provides a $5 billion investment in airports to be made over the next five years.

A release from the White House website notes that "decades of neglect and underinvestment in our infrastructure have left the links in our goods movement supply chains struggling to keep up with our strong economic recovery from the pandemic," but that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, touted as a "a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness," will help to resuscitate the ailing industry.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported that the first $1 billion of the Airport Terminal Program has already been distributed across 90 airports throughout the country for projects that include expanding capacity at airport terminals, increasing energy efficiency, promoting competition, providing greater accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and building two new air traffic control towers.

“Americans deserve modern airports that meet the needs of their families and growing passenger demand. Funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today’s grants will improve airport terminals while also creating good jobs in communities across the country,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, said that the TSA checkpoint and terminal connector project "certainly achieves all of the goals set forth by the (Airport Terminal Program)."

“Replacing aging infrastructure and increasing passenger capacity remains critical for us to meet current and projected air travel demand in the Lehigh Valley region. The new checkpoint elevates the customer experience through a more expedient passenger screening process, while the new energy-efficient terminal connector improves passenger access and while delivering a more streamlined route from ticket counter to takeoff. We appreciate the strong support of our delegation in Washington, D.C. in helping to secure this necessary federal funding,” Stoudt said.

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