Carney, Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester Announce $5.6 Million for Wilmington Airport Improvements

Delaware Governor John Carney, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) today announced a $5.6 million grant award from the Federal Aviation Administration to the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) to fund improvements to the Wilmington Airport. Funding for this grant came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Senators Carper and Coons and Rep. Blunt Rochester all helped author and pass into law. Specifically, the funding is from the Airport Terminal Program, which aims to address aging infrastructure at the nation’s terminal facilities and expand opportunities for the local community.

In October 2023, Carper, Coons and Blunt Rochester sent a letter of support to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for DRBA’s grant application to design and construct upgrades to the original 1955-era passenger terminal.  The grant will help expand commercial aviation service from the airport and improve the customer experience, expand accessibility and replace an outdated power infrastructure. The project will also support approximately 60 temporary construction jobs for multiple trades and allow commercial carriers to add 100 more jobs at the airport.

“I’m pleased to see the Delaware River and Bay Authority receive this Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant to expand the terminal at the Wilmington Airport,” said Governor Carney. “This will allow the airport to be able to handle more than one flight at a time. It’s an investment that benefits Delaware residents and visitors by improving the experience they have at the airport, and may expand flight options for travelers throughout the region. This is another example of benefits from the Biden administration’s infrastructure investments in our country, and I thank the federal delegation for leading on the infrastructure law and for advocating for this investment.”

“Today’s grant announcement is welcome news for the future of passenger service in Delaware,” said Senator Carper, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee in the U.S. Senate, who spoke with FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker in support of this application. “New Castle County airport is making smart investments that will create good-paying, local jobs and support commercial aviation in Delaware, which has seen great success with Avelo Airlines now providing flights out of New Castle. This is a win-win for Delawareans and our economy.”

“ILG’s continued growth is great news for our state and is part of a string of successes for air travel in Delaware,” said Senator Coons. “Modernizing our airport will help even more travelers find their way to the First State and strengthen our role as a commercial hub, creating good-paying jobs and boosting our economy. President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law continues to deliver for Delaware.”

“Transformational investments in our nation’s infrastructure – from our roads and bridges to passenger rail and airports – were exactly what we had in mind when we passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law last Congress,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “Today’s announcement of over $5 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration will help the Delaware River and Bay Authority modernize and expand capacity of the Wilmington Airport to better serve Delawareans and travelers alike all while creating good-paying jobs and growing our local economy.”

“On behalf of the Delaware River and Bay Authority Commission and staff, I’d like to thank Senator Carper, Senator Coons, and Congresswoman Blunt-Rochester for their collective efforts to secure this vital funding to expand and improve Wilmington Airport’s passenger terminal building,” said DRBA Executive Director Thomas J. Cook. “We also appreciate the passionate assistance of Governor Carney and New Castle County Executive Meyer who helped us get over the hump with their strong backing of the grant submission. When completed, the terminal project will provide the airport and our partner, Avelo Airlines, with greater operational and scheduling flexibility while also improving the overall customer experience. A key goal in this project is to add room for an additional security lane to speed the TSA screening process, including for the first time a dedicated TSA Pre-Check lane. This is great news for the State of Delaware and those across the region who fly out of Wilmington Airport – ILG!”