The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319, Public Law 117-2), signed into law by the President on March 11, 2021, includes $8 billion in funds to be awarded as economic assistance to eligible U.S. airports to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
To distribute these funds, the FAA has established the Airport Rescue Grants. The FAA will make grants to all airports that are part of the national airport system, including all commercial service airports, all reliever airports, and some public-owned general aviation airports.
Under Airport Rescue Grants:
- Primary commercial service airports, those with more than 10,000 annual passenger boardings, will share nearly $6.5 billion based on the number of annual boardings, in a similar way to how they currently receive Airport Improvement Program (AIP) entitlement funds.
- Primary commercial service airports will share an additional $800 million based on the number of annual boardings, and these funds will then be available for these airports to provide relief from rent and minimum annual guarantees to eligible in-terminal airport concessions. Airports will provide this relief to each airport concession based on its proportional share of the total annual rent and minimum annual guarantees for the airport.
- Non-primary commercial service and general aviation airports will share $100 million based on their airport categories, such as National, Regional, Local, and Basic.
- Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants awarded this year will be awarded at a 100-percent Federal share.
These funds will provide economic relief to airports around the country affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FAA intends to implement this program quickly to support the economic recovery of the national airport system. The FAA will provide further updates over the coming days and will release allocation amounts under each formula when they are finalized.