Over $1 Billion for Airports Questioned

Tuesday, 11 Aug 2009 10:46 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The Obama administration used economic stimulus money to pay for 50 airport projects that didn't meet the grant criteria and approved projects at four airports with a history of mismanaging federal grants, a government watchdog said Monday.

Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scovel said he plans to examine the Federal Aviation Administration's process for selecting programs for the $1.1 billion in grant money.

Among the projects that Scovel said didn't meet the FAA's minimum score was $14 million that went to Akiachak, Alaska, a town of 659 residents, to replace its airfield. The town has a seaplane and is only 14 nautical miles from the state's fourth busiest airport.

Nearly $15 million went to another Alaska town, Ouzinkie, that has 167 residents, to replace its gravel runway. The town has a float-plane landing area in its harbor. Barges also provide cargo delivery from Kodiak, 10 miles away.

Other projects Scovel said didn't meet FAA's threshold were $4.8 million for a new taxiway in Findlay, Ohio; $2.2 million for a runway extension at Wilbur Airport in Washington, $2 million for an apron at Warrensburg-Skyhaven Airport in Missouri, and $909,806 to design a new runway at a small airport near Dover, Del. He said those airports don't provide commercial passenger service and have limited flight operations.

"According to FAA, the Dover project was chosen because it was the state's only project that was 'ready to go,'" Scovel said in a letter to the department.

Scovel also cited four grants to recipients that have a history of mismanaging government money, "raising doubts about their ability to ensure (stimulus) funds are effectively administered." The four grantees are Guam International Airport Authority, Owensboro-Daviess County, Ky.; Pitkin County, Colo., and Puerto Rico Port Authority.

Owensboro-Daviess County, for example, received $658,730 despite reports citing its poor administration of federal airport funds for 10 of the past 11 years, Scovel said.

DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari said the grants criticized by Scovel were part of an effort to help small airports meet safety standards.

Porcari said Scovel's description of the projects as imprudent was "an overstatement." He said the projects would ensure that Alaskans had access to emergency medical service.

For selecting stimulus projects, the FAA scored projects on a 100-point scale. A score of 62 qualified for money. The projects cited by Scovel scored between 40 and 50 points. Porcari said the scoring system was just a way to help focus stimulus spending.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Mali's Islamists Withdraw Cease-Fire Pledge

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 13:06 PM

Tens of thousands of Fatah supporters rallied in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza on Friday for the first time since they we . . .

Fmr. CIA Director Hayden: Iran Nuclear Crisis Gets 'Scarier'

Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 18:11 PM

 . . .

Join Fmr. CIA Director for Special Iran Briefing, Assess the Danger

Friday, 13 Jul 2012 12:27 PM

 . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved