This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Industry groups welcomed U.S. congressional approval this week of additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), saying it provides the opportunity for much-needed relief for small aviation businesses. The nearly $500 billion measure—which included more than $300 billion to replenish the depleted PPP fund with $60 billion set aside for small lenders—passed the House yesterday, following Senate passage on Tuesday.
“We are very pleased to see Congress respond to the continuing, highly challenging needs of many small businesses and their employees,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
Noting the majority of Helicopter Association International’s membership comprises small businesses, HAI president and CEO James Viola added, “Like most small businesses around the world, they are suffering from the effects of the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The business and general aviation community have been working to ensure Congress understands the harm the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the industry and continues to seek further assistance as Congress considers future measures.
This is particularly true as smaller carriers are still struggling to obtain resources for that and funding that was specifically set aside for aviation. “We are hearing stories of difficulties with the PPP and the Air Carrier Worker Support Program,” NATA president and CEO Timothy Obitts said, adding the organization is continuing to educate and push for access to all available relief programs.
“As Congress considers additional legislation related to the Covid-19 pandemic, NATA has already begun discussions with key policymakers regarding the need for additional support for our industry,” said Jonathon Freye, NATA vice president of government and public affairs.
Alluding to a possible fifth economic stimulus package, HAI pointed to “much-needed additional funding,” and said it would continue to impress upon Congress the importance of keeping the industry viable.