COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A chunk of nearly $1 billion in federal infrastructure funding is going to Albany International Airport. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that $2 million is being allocated to the airport to rehabilitate its existing air traffic control tower.

News10 ABC got the opportunity to speak with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the impact the funding hopes to have for the airport and passengers.

“We’ve got $2 million from this program heading to Albany to improve that resource and that facility, at an airport that obviously is a very important part of the economy of the region,” he explained.

The work will upgrade and replace mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems within the tower. The Department of Transportation says this will bring systems up to “current standards”.

“You’ve got an air traffic control tower there that’s needed attention for some time,” Buttigieg explained.

According to the airport’s website, the tower began operations in February of 1999. Controllers use radar technology to monitor all aircraft entering Albany airspace, as well as visually observing planes on the ground at the airport.

The coming improvements are welcomed news for local pilots, who say any improvements to communication and technology can have a positive impact on safety for everyone who travels in and around the airport.

“ATC is out there to help us get around in the sky and ultimately help us with safe operation of aircrafts, and moving our passengers and ourselves around in the airspace,” said Christopher Hewison, owner of Hewison Aviation in Selkirk.

Albany is one of just 99 airports across the country to get a piece of the nearly $1 billion in funding, “It is a competitive process, we get a lot of applications, more than we can support any given year, so we’re really looking for places where that federal taxpayer dollar is going to make the biggest difference,” said Buttigieg.

The allocation of funding comes as the aviation industry continues to boom post-COVID.