CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — UPDATE: The FAA says the original interview it gave stating that there was "no specific reason" why Texas did not receive funding was not accurate and that it approves grant bids in the order it receives them. The original story below has been updated to reflect this.
The Federal Aviation Administration is spending billions of dollars to help fund safety improvements at hundreds of airports all over the country -- or at least most of the country. Texas was one of just four states that did not receive any of the $608 million in grant money the FAA awarded this week.
Hawaii, New Mexico and West Virginia joined Texas as the only states failing to secure funding for any airport.
"Applications from airports are processed in the order received, and it is very likely you'll see grant funding in an upcoming round," FAA spokesperson Cindy Ramsay said in an updated statement.
Colorado led all states in funding, receiving $55.4 million, including nearly $22.8 million for Denver International Airport. Denver is actually the largest airport in the United States by size, although Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest.
States to receive most Airport Improvement Project funding
- Colorado - $55,356,692
- Washington - $38,684,579
- Arizona - $36,578,565
- Florida - $34,730,687
- Kansas - $25,614,160
Two U.S. territories also got money during this round of funding, including American Samoa which received $18.8 million to improve the runway at Pago Pago International Airport.
The FAA says the $608 million represents just the first round of what will eventually be $3.2 billion in safety improvement grants. Texas has two of the five largest airports in the country in Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
"We have applications and they're competing for funds, so more than likely we will have some airports from Texas competing for future rounds," said FAA Southwest Region Director Ignacio Flores.
Flores would not say whether any Texas airports applied for grant money during this first round or had applied for future grant money.
What these airport grants help fund
The FAA says its Airport Improvement Program grants fund airport infrastructure projects. That includes money to help repair runways and taxiways, as well as airport signage, lighting, and markings.
"These Airport Improvement Program grants will help make airports better, safer, and more accessible, so they can better serve people in every community for decades to come," U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a prepared statement.
Texas got $1 billion in funding in 2020
Texas may be one of just four states to not receive any AIP funding so far in 2022, but it did receive a huge bump in funding in 2020 and 2021, more than doubling funds in prior years.
Texas got $1.08 billion in Fiscal Year 2020 and another $896.3 million in FY 2021. The previous high before 2020 was just $322.5 million in FY 2009.
Other large states, including California, New York and Florida also saw large funding increases over the past two years and were still part of the first round of AIP funding in 2022.