Today, the Alliance for Aviation Across America welcomed the announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation of approximately $10 billion in grants to be awarded to more than 3,000 airports of all sizes all across the country. Of the $10 billion in grants, $100 million is designated for general aviation airports, which will provide much needed relief for communities across America. $500 million has also been made available to increase the Federal share of Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants.
The grants will be awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and are funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on March 27th.
“This pandemic has had a devastating impact on aviation, including general aviation, and the businesses, operators, airports and communities that depend on this vital lifeline. These airports and aircraft support businesses of all sizes, as well as agriculture, law enforcement, fire-fighting, medical care, disaster relief, and many critical services. We thank Members of Congress, including Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, for including these important measures to support general aviation and local airports as part of the CARES Act,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic impact on general aviation airports and around the country, resulting in a 40-90% drop in operations at some airports, thousands of lay-offs and creating a ripple in local communities around the nation.
The CARES Act also contains provisions that help general aviation in particular, such as the suspension of the 7.5% federal aviation excise tax for commercial general aviation operators through 2021. A recent letter from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association, the National Air Transportation and the National Business Aviation Association, requested that Congress extend the excise tax suspension to non-commercial general aviation operators. The CARES Act also includes loans, loan guarantees and financial assistance for Part 135 operators and Part 145 maintenance facilities.
General aviation airports are a key economic driver, supporting over a million jobs and $247 billion in economic impact. More information on the economic impact of general aviation can be found here.
Formed in 2007, the Alliance for Aviation Across America is a non-profit coalition of over 6,000 individuals, businesses, agricultural groups, FBO’s, airports, elected officials, charitable organizations, and leading business and aviation groups that support the interests of the general aviation community across various public policy issues.