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September 29, 2023

Bradley Airport to receive $94.4M for infrastructure improvements

Contributed Bradley International Airport.
Click below to see a breakdown of the funding.
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Airports in Connecticut are receiving nearly $100 million in federal funding during fiscal year 2023, according to an announcement from the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA).

The majority of the $99.3 million is allocated for the state’s largest airport, Bradley International, including $76.1 million for baggage screening, $18 million to improve passenger circulation and $278,643 to study a possible taxiway extension.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the federal grants will support “critical safety improvements at Connecticut’s airports and create an easier and more streamlined airport experience for travelers.”

Upgraded TSA baggage screening systems and expanded ticketing counters at Bradley will help reduce lines and save travelers’ time, Blumenthal said.

A new inline baggage screening building is currently under construction at Bradley. It includes a secure inspection and handling system, with more than 1 mile of conveyor belts. 

Currently, passengers must present their baggage at the ticket counter for tagging, and then wheel their bags to Computer Tomography X-ray machines operated by TSA in the airport ticketing lobby. 

When the project is finished, passengers will hand their checked bags to the ticketing agent for tagging, and then their bags will be placed on a conveyor belt for routing to the new screening facility.

This will allow Bradley to remove the Computer Tomography X-ray machines from the lobby, creating more space, according to the CAA.

Bradley’s vertical circulation project includes a 22,000-square-foot expansion to add new elevators and escalators on both ends of the terminal. The project will improve passenger circulation and allow for an expansion of the current TSA security checkpoint area, CAA said.
Also, the CAA received almost $300,000 to continue studying the extension of Bradley’s taxiway. The extension would improve development prospects of one of the airport’s largest undeveloped parcels, CAA said.

Other funding is going to Groton-New London Airport, with $2.9 million for airfield lighting and signage. The project includes the installation of new edge lighting and LED signs at the airport, improving the visibility of the airfield.

Also, the funding includes $2 million for easement acquisition and obstruction removal at Hartford-Brainard Airport. The project is meant to mitigate airspace encroachments surrounding the airport, providing safer approach surfaces for pilots.

The total of $99.3 million includes funds from the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program, Transportation Security Administration and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Nearly $26 million of the funding was secured from competitive grants through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, according to CAA.

Gov. Ned Lamont and Sen. Chris Murphy both applauded the federal support for making the state’s airports better and the state more attractive to companies.

“This nearly $100 million in federal funding will help streamline the travel experience at Connecticut airports. Investing in airports is not only good for travelers, but it will also create lots of good-paying jobs and make our state even more attractive for new companies to grow their businesses here,” Murphy said. 

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said the funding is part of $1.6 billion the federal government approved for aviation safety and $558.6 million in Airport Improvement grants and projects meant to strengthen the efficiency and safety of airports across the country.

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