The FAA has been developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for what it deems “high-value field activities” to create efficiencies, increase quality control, and ensure consistency in the way programs are administered (see a complete list at faa.gov/airports/resources/sops). One of the most recent is No. 10: Grant Closeout. During a December 10 FAA virtual workshop hosted by AirTAP, Andy Peek, FAA Dakota/Minnesota Airports District Office (DMA ADO) manager, gave an overview along with tips for airport sponsors.
Period of Performance (POP) drives the close-out process, Peek noted. The POP is four years from the date an Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant was accepted by the sponsor. The DMA ADO will be reviewing and monitoring the FY17 grants that need to be closed before a new FY21 grant will be issued, and this closeout needs to be completed before June 1, 2021. “That clock has already started and that’s something we’re going to be focusing on,” Peek said.
Timely submittals benefit everybody, Peek said—especially the airport sponsor. If money is left over in a project, it may be returned to the sponsor for funding another project if it’s not expired funds. If the project needs money, recovered discretionary funding or recovered expiring funding may be available to use toward the project, he explained.
“Probably the greatest tool we have…is the sponsor grant closeout worksheet,” Peek noted. The worksheet, available on the FAA SOP website, allows the airport sponsor to compile required documentation in an orderly manner.
“The bottom line is, [closeouts] are not complex,” Peek said. “This is a financial record of the project. So as long as you can show your invoices and document the financial history, it’s going to be okay…And we’re certainly here to help you along the way if you have questions or concerns.”
Tips for successful closeouts:
- Ensure that timely field work is completed.
- Coordinate change orders ahead of the closeout process. Don’t wait until the end to try to solve problems.
- Use the checklist in the SOP for your document preparation.
- Plan ahead and allow time for the state agencies to review and comment.