The New Jersey Department of Transportation is awarding nine grants – totaling about 2-point-2 million dollars – to eight public use airports across the Garden state.

The money will be used for projects that enhance safety and promote state-of-good repair or advance studies for potential improvements.

DOT Commissioner Jim Simpson says “our public use airports fill an important niche in New Jersey’s vast and varied transportation network, public use airports provide a recreational option for residents as well as convenience and mobility for businesses and their clients.  Support of these facilities through state and federal grants helps promote economic growth.”

Jersey’s airport system is considered to be one of the most complex in the nation. There are 44 public-use airports in the state, 25 of which are privately owned.  New Jersey is also home to 319 heliports or helistops, including 35 at hospitals.

The nine grants will support a total of 5-point-4 million dollars in improvement projects. The Federal Aviation Administration is providing 3 million dollars in grant funding,  in addition to the state providing nearly 2-point- 2 million. The airport owners are contributing 189 thousand dollars toward the cost of the projects.