CARES Act helps airports land grant funds

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, more commonly known as the CARES Act, is a relief package of more than $2 trillion for American individuals, businesses, industries and government agencies. The coronavirus relief bill was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020.

Businesses of all kinds have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the aviation industry is no exception. According to Statista, a German statistics web portal, airports are expected to lose an estimated $16.4 billion in revenue this year in North America alone. The CARES Act includes $10 billion of relief funds to help airports affected by COVID-19 continue operations, despite the abrupt decrease in travel.

Hanson is assisting airports with consulting services to evaluate and assess their needs to better use these funds. This process involves assessing current and potential funds to identify what can and cannot be done with the money from a CARES Act grant.

One of those airports is Indy South Greenwood Airport in Greenwood, Indiana, a general aviation airport in the central region of the state. After Hanson worked with airport officials to determine their needs, it was decided to use the grant money for operations, including employee salaries, maintenance, repairs and utilities. This allowed the airport to shift its operational funds to a hangar development that needs a larger budget.

Hanson worked with the Vero Beach Regional Airport in Vero Beach, Florida, to help the general aviation airport use its CARES Act funds for a major facility improvements project.

Another general aviation airport, Vero Beach Regional Airport, located along the east coast in Vero Beach, Florida, is using its CARES Act funds to pursue a project that would have been out of reach without the grant. The airport is working with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to build a 200,000-square-foot apron and prepare a site for new corporate hangars that will boost airport revenue and stimulate the local economy. FDOT is supplying $4 million for the project but requires the airport to provide a 20% funding match, which the CARES Act grant would provide. Hanson acted as a liaison between the airport and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to facilitate an agreement regarding the use of the grant money for the match. Hanson can assist aviation clients with a variety of services and is geographically diverse, with the ability to tailor services to a client’s needs. According to Blake Swafford, P.E., a vice president, senior project manager and aviation regional lead who works at Hanson’s Sarasota, Florida, office, “One of our strengths is our close collaboration with the FAA and the many former airport managers we have on staff in senior-level positions. We are familiar with many nuances of the aviation industry and can offer those insights to clients worldwide.”

To learn more about these projects or how Hanson can help you with your aviation project, contact Blake Swafford, P.E., at (407) 622-2050, Ext. 5504, or bswafford@hanson-inc.com.