More than $2.2M in federal funding announced for NW Ohio airports

Money from the infrastructure bill will be given to six local locations

On Nov. 15, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. The $1.2 trillion piece of legislation includes more than $550 billion for infrastructure — roads, bridges, airports and internet.

Both Republican Sen. Sherrod Brown and Democratic Sen. Rob Portman voted in favor of the bill. In the house, every Democratic Ohio representative and Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who represents the 16th District of Ohio — near Cleveland — supported the legislation.

Already announced from the deal is $2,241,440 being allocated to six northwest Ohio airports for both short and long-term infrastructure projects.

Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport will receive the most locally from the Airport Infrastructure Grants, totaling $1,506,440. Other area airports include:

  • Erie-Ottawa International Airport: $295,000
  • Put-in-Bay Airport: $110,000
  • Middle Bass Island Airport: $110,000
  • North Bass Island Airport: $110,000
  • Kelleys Island Land Field Airport: $110,00

Joe Cappel, vice president of business development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, said that the funds received by Toledo Express will be utilized for capital improvement plan projects.

“We are in the process of updating the master plan for Toledo Express Airport,” he said. “And we believe that a lot of the projects that could potentially utilize the funding from the infrastructure bill will be flushed out during that update.”

Cappel said that the airport’s master plan is developed in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration and other government entities.

In addition to money from the recently passed bill, Toledo Express and many other airports receive federal entitlement dollars annually. The amount an airport receives is based on multiple factors, primarily the level of activity and number of passengers.

To put in perspective how much it costs to complete some projects, Cappel referenced a repavement during summer 2021; the cost to rehabilitate two taxiways was over $9.8 million.

“$1.5 million is definitely helpful, especially during a time when airport revenues are lower because we don’t have the same level of business traffic that we had before the pandemic,” he said. “But I think that most airports would say the need is always greater than the amount of resources available.”

Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who represents the 9th District of Ohio, voted to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“As we look around the country, no community has been spared the consequences of underinvesting in infrastructure – and Northwest Ohio has been particularly hard hit,” she said in a statement provided to the Toledo City Paper. “Now, thanks to the Jobs and Infrastructure bill, our region will finally have the resources to rebuild roads and bridges, improve ports, rail lines, and airports, and modernize energy and water infrastructure.”

Kaptur said she’s already begun discussions with local stakeholders and elected officials to figure out how the money from the bill can be used to fund projects throughout northwest Ohio.

More information is expected in the upcoming weeks on additional funding coming to Ohio from the infrastructure bill.