The $2tn stimulus package announced by the US Senate to aid the economy duing the Covid-19 pandemic includes $100m for general aviation (GA) airports.
This amount is also expected to help in maintaining the access of small and rural communities to aviation services.
The funding provided to GA airports is a part of the $10bn emergency appropriation allocated to airports in the stimulus plan.
On 25 March, the Senate passed the plan with a vote of 96 to zero. The plan is pending approval from the White House and will be sent to President Donald Trump for signing on 27 March.
The funds will be issues from the general fund and not from Airport and Airway Trust Fund. The money can be used by the airports for any purpose ‘on which airport revenue may lawfully be spent’.
This funding does not require any local match as the share from the federal government will be 100%.
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Non-hub and small airports were exempt from a clause to require airports that receive funding to retain a minimum of 90% of their work force until the end of 2020.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association president Mark Baker said: “We need these airports and I just want to thank those in Congress who understand the importance of them, especially the thousands of small airports across the country. I appreciate the fact that they ensured this emergency funding is a priority as the nation works to meet the challenges caused by this pandemic.
“These airports provide critical services to many communities and account for millions of operations each year, while also doing distinguished service during emergencies including natural disasters.”