USDOT announces $2B in COVID-19 relief grants for airports

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The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Friday that it would be making nearly $2 billion in federal grants available for airports affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants are part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program.

“President Biden has made it a priority to deliver immediate relief to our transportation sectors and their workers, ensuring they can continue to provide essential services through this pandemic and beyond,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “Today’s announcement is one of many steps we are taking to protect the health of America’s travelers and workers while keeping our nation’s airport operations and related small businesses up and running.”

As part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) passed in December 2020, the grants are available for more than 3,000 commercial service, reliever, and publicly owned general aviation airports in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Funding can be used for operational expenses, debt service payments, or costs related to preventing the spread of the coronavirus at airports, as well as for money for rent relief to airport concessionaires and cleaning and sanitizing facilities.

Previously, the Airports Council International – North America had projected that airports would lose $23 billion in revenue in the first year of the pandemic. Airport concessionaires have said they anticipate losing nearly $3 billion in revenue.

The deadline for applying is June 30, 2021.