Airports are grappling with big losses in passenger traffic.
Airports in the region are poised to pick up more than $172 million in emergency assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration, funds geared to make up for lost revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, the FAA plans to disburse nearly $900 million to 129 airports statewide struggling to pay salaries and bills with flight traffic down at least 75%, according to a report in The Center Square Florida, a state news service. Some airports in the region are looking at a 90% drop in passenger traffic.
The FAA grants come from $10 billion in coronavirus relief for more than 3,000 airports nationwide authorized under the federal $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Center Square reports. The CARES Act also includes $50 billion to assist airlines.
The FAA stipulates airports that receive the grants must maintain 90% of the workforce through the end of year, in addition to sustaining capital expenditures, operating expenses and debt payments. The state’s airports accommodate more than 176 million passengers a year and support more than 1.4 million jobs, according to the Florida Airports Council.
Airports that received the most money are Miami International Airport, with $206.9 million; Orlando International Airport with $170.7 million; and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport with $135 million. Airports on the west coast of Florida to receive grant money include:
Tampa International Airport: $81 million
Southwest Florida International Airport: $36.6 million
Punta Gorda Airport, Charlotte County: $23.8 million
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport: $23.29 million
St. Pete Clearwater International Airport: $8.7 million
Page Field, Fort Myers: $157,000
Naples Municipal Airport: $157,000
Lakeland Linder International Airport: $157,000
Venice Municipal: $69,000
Peter O Knight: $69,000
Tampa Executive: $69,000
Bartow Executive, Polk County: $69,000
Albert Whitted, St. Petersburg: $30,000
Marco Island Executive: $20,000