Terre Haute Regional Airport will Get $1.47M in New Federal Infrastructure Money

April 14, 2022

Apr. 13—As part of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Terre Haute Regional Airport will receive $295,000 annually for five years, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

That's more than $1.47 million over the next five years the airport can use to complete projects that otherwise would have waited, possibly for years.

"It is a great opportunity," Monica Newhouse-Rodriguez, managing principal of Newhouse and Associates, LLC, an airport consulting firm, told the airport's board of directors Wednesday.

"It really changes what we can do. It means you can advance projects that might have taken three or four years and you can now move those up," she said.

The airport annually receives $150,000 in entitlement funds from the Federal Aviation Administration; the new funds are in addition to that, potentially giving the airport $445,000 annually for projects over the next five years.

"It is really good news. It is about three years worth of (entitlement) money for the next five years," Newhouse-Rodriguez said. "However, it is sort of a use it or lose it," she said, adding that any unspent funds can be moved to another year and or project during the first four years. Yet, any unspent funds remaining after five years are reallocated by the federal government.

The $1.2 trillion federal bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $25 billion over a five-year period (fiscal year 2022-2026) for airports and air traffic control equipment.

Projects that could be targeted, Newhouse-Rodriguez said, include renovating the airport's fire station, putting in runway LED signage and LED runway lights, improving taxiways and rebuilding the airport's apron, the area where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refueled and boarded.

In other business, the airport board voted to move $139,522 in the airport's Rainy Day Fund. The airport had about 12.6% of its budget remaining at the end of 2021. The funds moved into the Rainy Day represent about 5 percent of last year's budget. The Rainy Day fund has about $650,000, however, $250,000 is slated to be spent this year on improvement projects.

Scott Craig, attorney for the airport, said work is underway to change the city of Terre Haute and Vigo County zoning ordinances to include an airport zoning overlay that will protect the airport's runways, including the 9,020-foot long primary Runway 5-23, from encroaching construction that could impact the airport's ability to land large aircraft, such as military or commercial planes.

Craig said he hopes the zoning process through the city and county can be completed by July.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or [email protected]. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.


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