Bennet Tours Centennial Airport, Welcomes Support From Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Will Support Necessary Upgrades to the Airport’s Snow Removal Equipment, Taxiways, and Security Fencing

Denver –– Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined Centennial Airport Executive Director and CEO Mike Fronapfel and Arapahoe County Commissioners Nancy Sharpe and Bill Hollen to tour Centennial Airport and hear about their plans to utilize federal funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Centennial Airport will receive $763,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and FY 2023 from the bipartisan infrastructure bill to support necessary upgrades to snow removal equipment, taxiways, security fencing, and more. In total, Colorado will receive $432 million to upgrade infrastructure at airports across the state.

“Funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill will help Centennial Airport maintain its presence as one of our nation’s premier general aviation airports and strengthen our state’s economy,” said Bennet. “I’m pleased to see Colorado leading the way on putting these infrastructure funds to good use.” 

“The federal funds from the bipartisan Infrastructure, Investments and Jobs Act come at a critical time for Centennial Airport and our surrounding businesses and communities,” said Centennial Airport Executive Director and CEO Mike Fronapfel. “We appreciate Senator Bennet’s leadership and support of this act which will provide much needed stimulus funds that can go towards upgrades and enhancements to important airport infrastructure. These stimulus funds will encourage continued airport development and help sustain the over 10,000 jobs that rely directly or indirectly on Centennial Airport.”

Centennial Airport plans to use funding from the IIJA to update: 

  • Snow removal equipment to keep the airport operating during inclement weather 
  • Taxiways to support future construction of 20 airplane hangers
  • Security fencing around the airport’s perimeter to keep it safe and secure

Additionally, Centennial Airport’s Air Traffic Control Tower is close to 40 years old. The airport seeks to use funds to upgrade or replace this critical piece of infrastructure. A modern tower would ensure the airport’s continued presence as a premier general aviation airport in the country and a significant contributor to the local job market and overall regional economy. 

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Division of Aeronautics estimated the airport’s total economic impact at $2.1 billion annually. Centennial Airport is the 2nd busiest General Aviation airport in the United States and the 23rd busiest of all airports in the United States with over 314,000 takeoffs and landings in 2021. It also serves as an international airport with 24/7 U.S. Customs service. It has over 750 based aircrafts and more than 130 based jets.

Earlier this month, Bennet welcomed $225 million in funding for Colorado bridges over the next five years from the bipartisan IIJA that President Joe Biden signed into law in November. On Monday, Bennet and U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) joined CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew in Wheat Ridge to tour the I-70 Ward Road bridges and 44th Avenue bridges and learn how IIJA funding could help reconstruct these 50-year-old bridges.

A state-by-state breakdown of this funding is available HERE.