Increasing trade and efficiency at the Laredo airport through federal funds totaling over $170 million dollars over the last 10 years
LAREDO, Tx, August 9.- Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and the City of Laredo announced $3.6 million dollars to the Laredo International Airport to make necessary infrastructure improvements that will bring in trade while increasing safety and efficiency of the airport.. These 3.6 million dollars in federal funding will be used to improve the Laredo International Airport cargo runway, having a direct impact in trade and the economy of Laredo. This money is in addition to the over $170 million dollars in federal funds that have been awarded to the Laredo Int’l Airport over the last 10 years. Over the last 25 years, the airport has received over $235 million dollars in funds with an additional $20 million in local match.
The AIP grant funds will be used for the rehabilitation of 8,000 square yards of the existing cargo apron to maintain the structural strength of the pavement. (Phase 14 of 17). These airport improvements and expansion will increase the safety, efficiency and capacity of aircraft movements. This funding is provided through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This fiscal year, FAA will award $659.8 million in airport infrastructure grants, as part of $3.18 billion in funding for airports across the United States.
The Laredo International Airport is a NAFTA gateway for air cargo. In 2017, 539,644,288 pounds of air cargo landed via the Port of Laredo. Fed Ex, BAX Global, DHL, and Airborne are a few of cargo carriers that serve the Laredo Community. In the last five years, only one of the roughly four dozen U.S. customs districts has seen its trade grow more rapidly than Laredo’s which is up 30.94% in that period. Over the last two decades Laredo’s trade has increased 354.93%, more than twice as fast as the U.S. overall.
The Laredo Int’l Airport is the only airport in the U.S. with an operation of Mexican Customs to pre-inspect south bound air cargo. Thanks to the Congressman’s efforts with the governments of Mexico and the United States to establish this operation, which allows cargo to be pre-inspected by Mexican customs officers under the Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT) at the Laredo International Airport and arrive in Mexico as pre-inspected cargo. Congressman Cuellar has worked on this project closely with the City of Laredo, who invested $3.3 million, to construct the facility.
Industries participating under Mexican Customs pre-inspection include auto parts, automotive manufacturing, electronics/electrical and aerospace, with auto parts being the number 1 air cargo commodity in Laredo. Cellphones, gasoline, and motor vehicles are also among the most actively traded commodities.
Laredo Int’l Airport is the only primary commercial service airport in the U.S. with CBP availability 24/7 to include clearance of air cargo. Air Traffic Operations have increased over 6% in the last year.
“This grant represents a federal investment for the well-being of our citizens and for our economy,” said Congressman Cuellar. “Improving trade and passenger safety, while allowing for easier more efficient commerce, will improve our local economy and tourism here in Laredo. I will continue fighting for funding for programs to bring more trade, improve safety and infrastructure in Laredo.”
“We are fortunate to have a great ally in Washington to help us obtain federal funding for many of our city endeavors,” said Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz. “I thank Congressman Cuellar for his help in making sure Laredo remains a leader in international aviation.”
“As we move forward to develop the Laredo International Airport into a competitive destination for travel and trade, this grant will go a long way in continuing the rehabilitation of our airport apron,” said Laredo City Manager Horacio de Leon, Jr. “I thank Congressman Henry Cuellar in helping to secure this funding, and for the support he and his office have provided to our airport over the years.”