With the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, one of our main priorities here at DOT has been getting money out the door quickly. With the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression hitting American families hard, we worked to identify shovel-ready projects across the country that would put people back to work while rebuilding our infrastructure.
That's why I'm proud to see the Federal Aviation Administration was recently recognized by the Airport Consultants Council with the 2010 Agency Best Practices Award for the administration of FAA Recovery Act grants. The FAA exceeded deadlines set by Congress to obligate half of the $1.1 billion in airport grants within 120 days and the remainder by February 11, 2010. In fact, the FAA designated the last airport Recovery Act grant by December 30, 2009 - a full six weeks early!
Of course, the FAA couldn't have done it alone. They coordinated with various regional and district airport offices to develop a list of eligible projects and prepare for the administration of grants. This partnership at the federal and local level ensured that Recovery Act dollars could be efficiently and effectively distributed, with 362 projects at 335 airport locations already underway or complete.
The numbers alone don't tell the whole story. These projects have a direct effect on people's lives. They're replacing dated infrastructure and making safety improvements at airports large and small. And, most importantly, more than 3,000 jobs have been created because of the FAA's Recovery Act grants. Jobs like Bill Montgomery's:
I join the Airport Consultants Council in congratulating the FAA for helping to make the Recovery Act such a success. We don't need awards, but it's always nice to be recognized. And I know that we'll continue to keep setting high standards for how we do business.