Grants will support runway snow removal equipment
Congressman Brian Higgins on Tuesday announced two federal grants totaling $2,061,984 to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for snow removal equipment at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The grants were awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration, under the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Higgins said, “Western New York may have a bit of a reputation for our snowfall levels, but no other community manages winter weather challenges better. That includes the NFTA’s incredible work clearing the runways and taxiways to keep planes running on time and passengers safe. These federal funds are especially critical as airport revenue has taken a significant hit from decreased worldwide travel due to the pandemic.”
The first grant, awarded to Buffalo Niagara International Airport for keeping the airport serviceable during snow periods, includes $500,000 in federal funding that will be used for acquiring both a replacement, and a new, front-end loader snow removal vehicle. The second grant totaling $1,561,984 will be used to acquire two new multitasking equipment vehicle that will aid in snow removal.
“We are so thankful for Congressman Higgins’ leadership and support of the Buffalo Airport,” said Kimberley Minkel, NFTA executive director. “Thanks to the congressman, the Buffalo Airport can continue to provide safe service and an exceptional customer experience. This funding is critical, and helps us maintain our nationally recognized status of being ranked as one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings for airports our size in North America, according to the J.D. Power Airport Satisfaction Study. Western New Yorker’s are better served and, according to J.D. Power, happier about their airport than others thanks to this support.”
A portion of the federal funding, $515,496 of the more than $2 million awarded to the NFTA, is funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) of 2020 approved by Congress to support public transportation systems that are continuing to operate during the outbreak. The distribution is formula-based.
Higgins previously announced $61.3 million in federal funding for the NFTA through an emergency package approved by Congress in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That funding was for operational and capital needs to maintain services as well as for measures to protect the health and safety of transportation workers and riders.