Home Airports U.S. Airports Asking For COVID-19 Relief Package

U.S. Airports Asking For COVID-19 Relief Package

by SharonKurheg

Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. Their mission is, “to advocate policies and provide services that strengthen commercial airports’ ability to serve their passengers, customers and communities.”

And they’re currently working with Congress and the Administration to include airports in a Covid-19 relief package.

Airports make their money in a variety of ways (and when times are good, they make a lot of it). However if people don’t fly, that income disappears. Of course, due to coronavirus, much of the public has been unable and/or unwilling to fly, a trend that’s expected to continue for an indeterminate amount of time.  So with that, according to ACI-NA’s most recent financial forecast, U.S. airports are projected to lose close to $14 billion, at a minimum, during the 2020 calendar year (their preliminary estimate the previous week had been $3.7 billion – they changed that pretty quickly). This estimate is based on:

  • Passenger traffic at U.S. commercial airports is expected to fall by 73 percent in the March to June period, which represents a 53 percent decrease in the first half of 2020 and a 37 percent drop for the full year compared to forecasted 2020 levels.

  • Total passenger enplanement is anticipated to fall by 244 million in the first half of the year and 349 million for the full year.

  • Total airport operating revenue is expected to decrease by roughly $12.3 billion for the calendar year, representing a nearly 49 percent reduction driven by cancellations and other reductions in domestic and international air travel, as well as dramatically lower non-aeronautical revenue.

  • Collection of the Passenger Facility Charge, a critical funding source for U.S. commercial airports, is expected to fall by close to $1.6 billion in 2020.

U.S. airports currently have outstanding debts of about $100 billion and need to pay $7.4 billion in cash to service those debt obligations. They’ve also needed to pay significantly more in custodial costs due to, “more frequent cleaning of public areas and restrooms, more and upgraded supplies, extra shifts and staffing, additional hand sanitizers in airport public areas for passengers and employees, and additional education and training for airport employees and contractors.”

All those expenses add up, so while airlines, hotels, restaurants, the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Boeing and the travel & tourism industries are all asking for federal assistance, so are airports.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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