State Aeronautical Board Approves Second Round of Airport Funding

News Release

April 22, 2021 - Statewide News - Discretionary Aviation Grants Maintain Public-Use Airport System

WATKINS – Some of the state’s public-use airports will be getting some much-needed improvements after the Colorado Aeronautical Board approved $2 million to fund state and local grants from aviation fuel taxes.

Following passage of the American Rescue Plan in March, some additional, indirect funding became available. Due to provisions in the law, the $2 million in state aviation funds originally earmarked for federal matching funds were reallocated to support state and locally funded airport improvement projects.*  These projects were previously programmed, but deferred due to reduced revenues to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics.

"We are extremely grateful to the Colorado congressional delegation for advocating for our state during negotiation of the American Rescue Plan," said CDOT’s Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “The 100 percent federal airport grant share contained in the Plan allowed us to further leverage Aeronautics Division funding to support more airports across our state, from Delta to Walden to Lamar." 

Aeronautics Division Director David Ulane added, “The indirect benefits created for us by the 100 percent federal grant share provision this year are incredibly valuable, and have allowed us to keep many of our state-funded airport improvement projects on track.”

Grants ranged from $25,000 to $400,000. This round of funding supported a wide range of airport needs, including airfield pavement maintenance and reconstruction projects and the purchase of snow removal equipment.

“Repairing our secondary runway has been a priority for GJT for years, as it’s a valuable asset to our general aviation community,” said Angela Padalecki, executive director of the Grand Junction Regional Airport. “We are grateful to the CDOT Aeronautics Division for their partnership that helped us develop a plan to fund the rehabilitation as quickly as possible, and to the Colorado Aeronautical Board for their support and approval of this grant.”

See the comprehensive listing of each grant award.

The Colorado Airport System consists of 76 public-use airports that support more than 345,660 jobs, provide $16.2 billion in annual payroll and $48.6 billion in total annual business revenue and output. Legislation was passed in 1991 to develop and maintain the state’s aviation system through taxes collected on aviation fuel sold within the state. No general funds are used to meet the needs of the Colorado Aviation System. It is funded solely through the taxes collected by those actually using the aviation system.

More information can be found at

*Federal capital airport improvement grants typically only cover a portion of the overall project costs. The federal government generally provide 90 percent of the project costs, with the local contribution approximately 10 percent.  Colorado’s Aeronautics Division, in most cases, provides half of the required local matching funds for programmed federal projects. In this instance, provisions in the American Rescue Plan allocated $608 million dollars programmed in fiscal 2021 to cover 100 percent of the cost of federally-funded airport projects around the country.


Under the Direction of the Colorado Aeronautical Board, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics supports Colorado's multi-modal transportation system by advancing a safe, efficient, and effective statewide air and space system through collaboration, investment and advocacy. In partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration, 76 public-use airports and a diverse group of aviation system users, the Division also works to promote aviation safety and education through the efficient administration of the Colorado Aviation Fund.  For more information, check us out on YouTube, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.