Airport Improvement Program (AIP): Reauthorization Issues for Congress [January 27, 2010] [open pdf - 446KB]
"The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) has been providing federal grants for airport development and planning since the passage of the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-248). AIP funding is usually spent on projects that support aircraft operations such as runways, taxiways, aprons, noise abatement, land purchase, and safety or emergency equipment. The funds obligated for the AIP are drawn from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (hereafter referred to as the trust fund), which is supported by a variety of user fees and fuel taxes. The AIP is one of five major sources of airport capital development funding. The other sources are taxexempt bonds, passenger facility charges (PFCs: a local tax levied on each boarding passenger), state and local grants, and airport operating revenue. Different airports use different combinations of these sources depending on the individual airport's financial situation and the type of project being considered. Small airports are more dependent on AIP grants than large or medium-sized airports. The larger airports, whose projects tend to be much more costly, are more likely to participate in the tax-exempt bond market or finance capital development projects with a PFC."
CRS Report for Congress, R40608