Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) President and CEO Kevin M. Burke testified today at the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security hearing to discuss air travel in the COVID-19 era.
Burke explained the unexpected plunge in travel related to COVID-19 will cost U.S. airports at least $23 billion and stressed the need for additional federal funding to help airports meet operating costs, enhance security, and provide for the health of the traveling public.
“The drastic budgetary actions airports are taking, coupled with the initial infusion of emergency funds from the CARES Act, will not be enough to keep pace with the sharp revenue declines, putting many airports at risk,” Burke said.
Burke made several key funding and policy recommendations to members of Congress, including:
- $13 billion in additional emergency assistance to help airports meet growing operating costs and their debt-service obligations in the coming year.
- Working with key stakeholders to develop and implement new measures to protect public health, including creating a “touchless” aviation security screening process that provides adequate physical distancing for passengers.
- Establishing a joint advisory panel involving the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of State, and industry stakeholders to develop recommendations for the operational, infrastructure, and technology issues related to pandemic planning.
To read Burke’s full written testimony click here.