The CARES Act recently signed by President Trump included $10 billion in economic relief for more than 3,000 airports around the country affected by the COVID-19 virus. Most general aviation airports, for example, survive through a combination of ground and hangar rentals, as well as per-gallon fuel flowage fees, so any decline in traffic can have serious consequences. My local GA airport in Chicago said traffic numbers have declined by more than 50 percent in recent weeks.
The new legislation provides new funds distributed by various formulas for national airport system facilities including all commercial-service airports, all reliever airports and some public-owned general aviation airports. The Alliance for Aviation Across America confirmed that “$100 million is designated for general aviation airports.” One aspect of the funding was designed to ensure construction efforts on airport projects don’t come to a grinding halt—by increasing the federal share of Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and supplemental discretionary grants to 100 percent to that already planned for fiscal year 2020. This move eliminates the matching funds currently required by already cash-strapped airports.
The FAA has provided a list by state of how much cash each airport will receive as well as frequently asked questions about the efforts.