The Arlington Airport receives money for projects from the federal government through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). We receive both discretionary and entitlement money.
Discretionary money is money that is divided up among all the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) airports (currently 3,444 airports around the United States) and is based on national priorities and needs. Airports compete for discretionary money. We are typically on a three year schedule to receive discretionary funds for a project. For example, Taxiway B Extension and New Taxiway E completed in 2005 was from discretionary money. Another large project was Taxiway C and D Improvements completed in 2008.
Entitlement money is allocated to each NPIAS airport in the amount of $150,000 each year. However, entitlement money is rolled into the discretionary money received for a project during that year. More information can be found on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website.
Remember that this is federal money and is subject to federal budget constraints and national priorities. In addition, only projects meeting FAA criteria and specifications are funded. Regardless of the amount of grant money the airport receives, the airport usually pays 10% and the FAA usually pays 90% of the total project costs.