The Federal Aviation Administration today awarded nearly $14 million to Huntsville International Airport as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Some $10 billion will be provided to U.S. airports devastated by the falloff in travel demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The passage of the CARES Act and distribution of funds came after airports projected a loss of at least $13.9 billion this year as travel demand has fallen by 95 percent.
Huntsville International Airport has been awarded $13,785,691 to offset revenue losses from the pandemic. HSV had originally projected revenue losses from the onset of COVID-19 fallout through June 30 to be between $7 million and $10 million.
However, with the actual traffic being down much more than expected and the falloff more swift, the airport has now projected that revenue loss through year-end could be as high as $21 million. This revenue loss estimate does not account for any additional losses that might occur if the recovery period resulting from the pandemic continues.
“Airports are economic drivers providing vital transportation infrastructure that allows our community access to business opportunities across the nation and the world,” said Rick Tucker, Huntsville International Airport CEO. “This is why we are tremendously grateful that the federal government has worked so hard to support the airline and airport workforce during these unprecedented times. These funds will protect our workforce so that we can continue providing passengers with an economic and cultural lifeline via the air transportation network.
“We again applaud and are thankful to the Senate, House and President Donald Trump for their bipartisan efforts in passing the CARES Act and we are grateful to the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration for the swift and thoughtful granting of these funds to airports in dire need of them. Huntsville International Airport will use monies granted to offset the tremendous revenue losses that we have incurred since the onset of this pandemic and to maintain the ‘ready status’ needed to immediately get air service capacity ramped up as the economy recovers.”
To receive the grant, the airport is required to maintain 90 percent of its workforce through the calendar year. Aligning with the FAA’s mandate, HSV said it has worked throughout the pandemic with top priorities in place: maintaining the safety of passengers and employees; being able to continue to operate the airport for the community and; preserving jobs.