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NATA welcomes compensation announcement from Treasury
The Treasury Department will not require passenger air carriers that will receive $100 million of payroll assistance or less to provide financial instruments as compensation. Funds will be available promptly.

NATA is supporting Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's announcement that small passenger air carriers with payroll under $100 million dollars would not be required to provide financial instruments as appropriate compensation for assistance received pursuant to the CARES Act, Title IV, Subpart B, Air Carrier Worker Support Program.

“We thank Secretary Mnuchin and his excellent staff for hearing the concerns of NATA membership whose aviation businesses have been hard hit by the pandemic. We appreciate their consideration of the diverse and unique nature of Part 135 operators and work to expedite relief to the employees of these vital and essential American companies. We look forward to continuing to work with the Secretary and his staff to provide similar relief for small businesses that are Part 135 air cargo operators and other aviation businesses, including FBOs that provide ground handling services to the commercial airlines, who have filed applications for relief under the same Subpart B of the CARES Act,” states NATA president and CEO Timothy Obitts.

The Treasury Department will not require passenger air carriers that will receive $100 million of payroll assistance or less to provide financial instruments as appropriate compensation. As such, for passenger air carriers with payroll support payments up to $100 million, funds will be available promptly upon approval of their applications. The majority of these requests seek less than $10 million. Due to the small size of the awards, and not needing to conduct negotiations over financial instruments, Treasury anticipates being able to promptly distribute the funds.

“Small and medium-sized passenger aviation businesses are particularly vulnerable to the disruption from COVID 19. This determination will provide significant support to workers and businesses across the country, while also appropriately compensating taxpayers,” said Mnuchin in the Department's press release.

“The staff at the Treasury has been truly exceptional in terms of its accessibility and receptiveness to our questions and concerns. During consideration of the CARES Act, NATA fought hard on behalf of our members to ensure they would be eligible for assistance. We are grateful that the Secretary has used his authority to quickly assist the employees of our member companies,” adds Jonathon Freye, NATA vice president of government and public affairs.

According to guidance by the Treasury Department, applications will continue to be accepted “until 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 27, 2020. However, applications submitted after April 3 may receive less immediate consideration. Applications received after April 27, 2020 may or may not be considered at the discretion of the Treasury Department, subject to the availability of funds.”

NATA has also released a white paper entitled Recommended Practices for Airport Sponsors and Commercial Aviation Businesses in Addressing Leasehold Issues in Response to COVID-19.

In the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency, airports and commercial aeronautical businesses, along with the entire global aviation industry, are confronted with operational revenue challenges, issues with employee job retention and financial uncertainty at a level the industry has never experienced. Worldwide, COVID-19 has resulted in international and domestic commercial air carrier and private general aviation travel restrictions that have caused significant financial harm to airports, the industry's 3,661 FBOs, MROs and other essential aeronautical service providers.

NATA recognises that a majority of airport sponsors are public agencies that have both the challenge to maintain self-sustaining operations, as well as complex revenue streams intended to preserve the valuable services and jobs that the airport and aviation industry provides to their communities.

The association encourages efforts to establish or continue fostering collaborative approaches and solutions between airport sponsors and their commercial aeronautical tenants in addressing these challenges, including initiating open discussions regarding rent and other fee relief options during the coronavirus pandemic. To that end, NATA's white paper is intended as a guide for both airports and commercial aeronautical businesses (including airlines) to use when considering financial and operational accommodations.

“During these challenging times, it is imperative for commercial aeronautical businesses and airports to continue to promote dialogue, develop insights into each other's perspectives and to work to agree on uniform rapid relief programmes that help airport tenants that are undergoing financial hardships during this unforeseen crisis. NATA is pleased to provide this white paper as a tool that both airports and their tenants/subtenants can use as a guide for conversations on financial and operational accommodations that are in line with current federal regulations. Uniform financial assistance is critical for continuity of airports and their important stakeholders,” states Obitts.

“On behalf of NATA's board of directors, we are pleased that NATA continues to provide resources that foster communication and collaboration between airports and commercial aviation businesses. We hope this guide provides benefits now and serves as a roadmap for the future,” adds NATA board chairman Curt Castagna.

“We urge airport sponsors and tenant businesses to work together to determine the best path forward for each community to continue to allow the airport to act as a base of recovery and their tenant businesses to provide valuable services and serve as pipelines for employment,” Obitts concludes.

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