US Congress has passed a $900 billion stimulus package to support American workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19. President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021, which included the $900 billion stimulus package. Importantly for members of NATA, the Act provides for a second round of the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), relief for passenger air carriers and contractors to the airlines through another round of the CARES Act Payroll Support Program, and limited funding for general aviation airports.
NATA worked hard and was successful in getting Part 135 certificated passenger charter operators and FBOs that provide ground handling services to commercial airlines included in the stimulus package. Contractors to the airlines were left out of initial drafts of the Bill, but due to the association's efforts they were included in the final draft.
“We are grateful that our Part 135 passenger charter operators and FBOs that provide ground handling services to the commercial airlines are included in the new round of Payroll Support Program under the Act,” states NATA president and CEO Timothy Obitts. “We are also pleased that the Act provides for a second round of $284 billion in forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses. The majority of aviation businesses in the United States are small businesses and support 1.2 million jobs and $247 billion in annual economic activity. This bi-partisan stimulus package will help many aviation businesses retain their employees during this uncertain time. While we are disappointed that general aviation airports only received $45 million in additional relief, NATA will continue our fight for crucial resources for general aviation businesses and general aviation airports.
“Aviation businesses have been a lynchpin in our nation's response to the coronavirus and a critical part of the recovery of the national air space system. Further, aviation businesses will play a critical role in ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccines reach rural America and communities not served by commercial aviation airports. These vital businesses help keep aviation moving, and we have to do everything we can to support them.”