WASHINGTON—Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) today released the following statement in response to the passage of the COVID-19 relief bill that provides an additional $8 billion for U.S. airports.
“We applaud the work President Biden and Congress have done to provide airports with an additional $8 billion in critical funding to continue safe and efficient operations,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced shutdowns across North America and around the world. While airports quickly mobilized to protect travelers and workers, the significant drop in passenger traffic has decimated airport finances. The pandemic is projected to cost U.S. airports more than $40 billion by March 2022 — a number that will grow if the pandemic drags on. Despite these challenges, American airports remain committed to ensuring the health and safety of the traveling public and airport workers by deploying enhanced sanitation procedures and adopting new technologies to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Current estimates predict passenger traffic in 2021 will be roughly 40 percent lower than pre-pandemic projections. In total, U.S. airports will see more than a billion fewer passengers over this two-year period because of the pandemic. ACI-NA has projected that U.S. airports will lose at least $17 billion between April 2021 and March 2022 because of the prolonged decline in commercial aviation traffic resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. These losses are in addition to the $23 billion U.S. airports are expected to lose between March 2020 and March 2021. The year-ahead total could grow if the pandemic continues to depress air travel around the world. $10 billion was provided for U.S. airports through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) round of COVID-19 support and $2 billion was provided in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), bringing total support for U.S. airports to $20 billion.
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