Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City has received a $2.1 million grant from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to purchase two replacement brooms for clearing snow from the airport’s runways.
Funding comes from the Airport Infrastructure Grant (AIG) program, part of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law passed by Congress in 2021.
“It will help improve safety and keep flights running,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a Zoom interview Thursday afternoon.
These grants are important to the competitiveness of the U.S. economy, Buttigieg said, but also to the communities the airport serves.
“Everyone knows we’ve had a lot of cancellations and delays this year,” Buttigieg said. “It’s definitely gotten better, we push the airlines to make it better, but it’s not just about the airlines, it’s about the airports and making sure we have the best equipment, the best technology and the best infrastructure.”
Buttigieg said the infrastructure law provides historic levels of funding and is being put to good use.
“We deserve the best aviation system in the world,” he said. “I think we’ve done it in a lot of ways, but everyone knows the airport needs some refurbishment, some improvement, and that’s what we’re doing right now.
Minister Buttigieg pointed out that the infrastructure law does much more than just upgrade airports.
“There’s also a lot of money going to Oklahoma to build roads and bridges and help communities build transportation systems,” the secretary said. “Every part of American transportation is being upgraded right now.”
On the issue of a possible railroad strike, Buttigieg hopes the Senate will quickly approve legislation passed by the House on Wednesday to implement the terms of a labor agreement enacted earlier this year.
“It’s not a perfect deal,” Buttigieg admitted. “No one gets everything they want, but [an agreement] That comes with a decent amount of benefits for workers, including a 24% raise, which I think really moves things forward. “
Shortly after our conversation, the Senate approved the measure. The Oklahoma delegation consisted of four people—senators. Inhoff, Sen. Lankford, Rep. Lucas and Rep. Kerr – voted to enforce the deal and avoid a strike, while Rep. Biss, Rep. Hearne and Rep. Mullin voted against it, saying Congress should not be involved.