Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport received a Letter of Intent from the Federal Aviation Administration committing up to $180 million as part of an Airport Improvement Program.
The program will provide grant funding for two end-around taxiway systems, according to a press release. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao delivered the letter in person, signaling her commitment to airport infrastructure.
"This investment in two new taxiways at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport will help ensure more efficient movement of travelers and commercial goods through the fourth busiest airport in our nation," said Secretary Chao.
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End-around taxiways enable arriving aircraft to taxi around DFW's seven active runways rather than wait to cross them. The taxiways enhance safety because they virtually eliminate runway crossings, reducing the risk of possible incursions.
"We're extremely grateful to the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration. Our productive partnership continues to identify innovative solutions that benefit the biggest air traffic management system in the world," said Sean Donohue, CEO of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. "Today's commitment of $180 million is further validation for the team from DFW, the FAA and NASA who designed the concept of end-around taxiways more than a decade ago."
The next phase of the end-around taxiways is already under construction on DFW's northeast quadrant, with completion anticipated by 2021. DFW Airport's southwest quadrant taxiway is expected to be built by 2023. The federal funding included in the Letter of Intent could cover up to half of the overall cost of the next two phases.
"In a global economy, infrastructure investment helps keep the Dallas Fort Worth region competitive," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. "One great way to do that is to make sure we get the most out of DFW Airport."
Separately, Secretary Chao also delivered a $31 million AIP grant for the rehabilitation of Runway 17-C at the Airport. Construction on Runway 17-C is scheduled to be complete in 2019.
"These funding commitments from the DOT and the FAA help make sure that DFW is ready for the future," said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. "It's all about maintaining our infrastructure and investing now."
DFW opened its first end-around taxiway system on the southeast side of the Airport in 2008.
End-around taxiways ultimately produce gains in runway efficiency and reduce overall taxi times for arriving aircraft.
The taxiway projects are a part of DFW's overall ten-year infrastructure improvement plan, which includes enhancing or rebuilding runways, roadways, bridges and other infrastructure needs on the Airport grounds.