Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia) announced that Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) was granted $24 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law she backed last fall. The competitive grant for airport terminal development projects will improve customer experiences, move goods through the economy more efficiently to lower prices, and enhance U.S. competitiveness, Scanlon said in a press release.
Airport officials will use the money to make significant upgrades to airport restrooms.
With the new funding, PHL’s Restroom Renovation Program (RRP) will be able to provide additional restrooms, as well as rooms for nursing mothers, gender-neutral restrooms, adult-assisted care restrooms, and pet relief areas. The funding will also go towards the installation of smart and touchless technology to enhance the airport’s sustainability.
“As passengers return to the skies for both business and pleasure, it is critical to invest in safe, sustainable, and accessible airport terminals,” Scanlon. “Modernizing our region’s airport infrastructure will not only improve air travel for passengers – it will better position our region for success within an increasingly competitive global economy. The upgrades PHL can make with the funding will improve airport access for historically disadvantaged travelers, reduce environmental impact and create good-paying local jobs, thereby helping our economy for decades to come. I am proud to have cast my vote for this historic infrastructure funding, and I look forward to seeing more federal funding flow into our region.”
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said, “Americans deserve modern airports that meet the needs of their families and growing passenger demand. Funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today’s grants will improve airport terminals while also creating good jobs in communities across the country.”
City of Philadelphia Division of Aviation Interim CEO Keith Brune thanked the officials. “The funding we are receiving from this program will be used to support our multi-year Restroom Renovation Program. Restrooms are often the first place arriving passengers visit and their last stop before departing the airport. This funding will help in our efforts to enhance the guest experience by integrating new technology, improving quality and comfort, accommodating more travelers, expanding accessibility for persons with disabilities, and implementing sustainability measures as we upgrade our facilities.”
However, David Galluch, Scanlon’s Republican challenger, scoffed at using federal dollars for airport restrooms, when other infrastructure priorities are needed.
“As the cost of gas and groceries skyrockets, Pennsylvanians continue to suffer from failing leadership,” said Galluch. “Even now, my opponent Mary Gay Scanlon wants to take a victory lap for securing federal dollars to fund restroom renovations at the Philadelphia International Airport. Nothing better exemplifies how out of touch Congresswoman Scanlon is than this.
“Instead of focusing on making life affordable for constituents whose pocketbooks are being squeezed, my opponent is all too happy to literally flush millions down the toilet. Priorities matter, and as Congressman, my number one priority will be bringing costs back to Earth and focusing on the problems keeping families up at night. Restrooms at the airport are not it.”
The Infrastructure law provides $1 billion annually for five years for Airport Terminal grants.