Congress Clears Rescue Bill with Billions for Aviation

 - March 27, 2020, 1:30 PM

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

The U.S House of Representatives today approved the $2 trillion relief package that provides billions in loans and grants for aviation businesses and airports. House passage, by voice vote, followed Senate approval also this week, sending the measure, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R.743), to the President’s desk for his signature.

Hailed as a roadmap for relief and recovery, the CARES Act has garnered nearly universal support from an aviation industry facing unprecedented losses. The bill provides nearly $80 billion in loan availability and employee salary/benefit grants directly to airlines, charter, and cargo operators and certain sectors of the industry, such as MROs and certain FBOs. In addition, $10 billion in grants would go to airports with $100 billion set aside for general aviation businesses.

However, the package includes numerous other more broadly focused measures that could provide assistance to the spectrum of aviation businesses. Additional money includes $454 billion in economic stabilization funding available to businesses in general and upwards of $400 billion for small businesses. The bulk of that involves paycheck protection, but also includes interest-free loans and coverage for existing loan payments, among other measures. In addition, tax credits and deferred tax payments are included for distressed companies.