CALIFORNIA, USA — U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced Tuesday the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $1.08 billion in airport aid to 188 airports in California to help respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The funding is part of President Trump's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program, in an effort to provide immediate relief to families, workers, and businesses across the country. The program was signed into law on March 27 and includes $10 billion in funds "to be awarded as economic relief to eligible U.S. airports affected by the prevention of, preparation for, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic."
“This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
San Diego International Airport will receive $91,221,894. View a list of all the California airports receiving funding on an interactive map, along with funding for all U.S. airports on FAA’s website.
According to the report, the funding will replace lost revenue and support continuing operations due to the major decline in passenger travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be made available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.
"In terms of the demand, in terms of the business, in terms of profitability and in terms of employment, the airline industry, in fact, the entire travel industry has been completely devastated by this. United has stated that their load factor is 13 percent, meaning 13 out of every hundred seats are filled. Their demand is down 98%. We've heard similar reports from other airlines, including Southwest, Spirit, American and so on. So this is being felt all over the US airline industry. We've seen other airlines ground themselves entirely," said Travel Industry Analyst, Henry Harteveldt.
The FAA encourages airport sponsors to spend the grant funds immediately to help minimize any adverse impact from the current public health emergency. Airport sponsors should work with their local FAA Office of Airports field office on the application and grant-agreement process.