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November 17, 2020

Securing Vital Funding for Airports through the CARES ACT

The 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was a sweeping piece of legislation aimed at providing fast and direct economic assistance to American families, businesses and industries. Recognizing the global pandemic’s tremendous impact to the aviation industry, the CARES Act allocated nearly $10 billion in federal assistance to support our nation’s airports as they work to “prevent, prepare for and respond” to the public health emergency. The FAA used the existing National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) program, which identifies the 3,300 airports in the national airport system, to determine program eligibility and grant award amount.

Hoyle, Tanner has always worked closely with our airport clients preparing grant applications for reimbursement under the FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP), so it was a natural extension to provide that same service for the CARES Act funding program. Our team supported our clients by implementing the new protocols and quickly mastering the new electronic application process established by FAA to fast-track the grant awards.

To date, we are proud to have assisted our New England airport clients in securing 24 federal grants totaling nearly $20 million so far this year. Eight of those grants were specifically CARES Act grants totaling $2 million. These CARES grants represent funding for a wide variety of airport expenses including covering payroll and utilities expenses, purchasing deicing material or completing needed airfield pavement maintenance. An additional $1.8 million in savings was also realized for both municipal and state agencies when FAA increased their AIP funding from their traditional 90% share of airport projects to 100%. This additional funding support has allowed airport infrastructure improvement projects to move forward unimpeded while the states and municipalities face unprecedented budget shortfalls.

Our airports play a vital role in the national transportation system. The CARES Act is a way to acknowledge and support them during the ongoing public health emergency. As always, we are prepared to support our clients with this and any future funding programs that may be needed to maintain a safe, reliable aviation network. Reach out to Hoyle, Tanner’s Director of Aviation Services, Robert Furey if you would like to discuss funding opportunities for your airport.