Pella Municipal Airport and Knoxville Municipal Airport will receive grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which are funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it would award approximately $10 billion in grants to more than 3,000 airports of all sizes across the country. Pella Municipal Airport will receive $69,000, and Knoxville Municipal Airport will receive $30,000. The South Central Regional Airport did not receive funding.
“I’m excited to see that the FAA has recognized Pella, and I’m looking forward to leveraging that money for the current airport,” says Pella Municipal Airport board member Sid Pinney.
Of the $10 billion in grants, $100 million is designated for general aviation airports, which will provide much needed relief for communities across the nation. Additionally, $500 million has been made available to increase the federal share of Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic impact on general aviation airports across the country. According to the Alliance for Aviation Across America, this impact has resulted in a 40-90 percent drop in operations at some airports, thousands of lay-offs and the creation of a ripple in local communities across the nation.
“General aviation airports are a key economic driver, supporting over a million jobs and $247 billion in economic impact,” says a press release from the Alliance for Aviation Across America.
According to the organization’s website, Pella Municipal Airport has a total economic impact of $4,446,700, while Knoxville Municipal Airport has a total economic impact of $1,056,300.
The CARES Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, contains provisions that help general aviation in particular, such as the suspension of the 7.5 percent federal aviation excise tax for commercial general aviation operators through 2021. The CARES Act also includes loans, loan guarantees and financial assistance for Part 135 operators and Part 145 maintenance facilities.