Oct. 13, 2020
NBAA and a coalition of general aviation’s leading advocates are urging lawmakers to build on the success of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act by providing additional relief that ensures business aviation and the country’s airports can continue to deliver pivotal and essential services during the pandemic and maintain their valuable contribution to the country’s economy.
The CARES Act, enacted in late March, was a vital, albeit temporary, stimulus for general aviation and airports during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis. Relief from excise taxes and initiatives like the Payroll Support Program and the Paycheck Protection Program provided general aviation businesses the means to mitigate the economic stress of the pandemic and continue their support of thousands of communities across the country, many of which rely on general aviation for essential services.
However, much of the relief granted by the CARES Act relief is due to expire, so NBAA has joined with a coalition of general aviation associations to advocate for additional targeted relief. These measures are important to the continued success of an industry that supports 1.2 million jobs, generates more than $247 billion in economic output and provides essential access to more than 5,000 communities in the U.S.
The groups also advocate for more robust funding of the country’s general aviation airports to enable them to meet their operational needs and provide relief to airport tenants, who are struggling to meet contractual and minimum annual guarantee requirements.
“Our nation’s airports are home to thousands of independent small businesses providing essential aeronautical services. Many of these airports have experienced declining traffic and business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and relief is needed to support good high paying jobs, economic activity, and connectedness,” the industry groups said in their letter.
The coalition recognizes the benefits of excise tax relief under the CARES Act and urges lawmakers to protect the long-term future of the country’s aviation manufacturing, service and maintenance workers, who ensure the U.S. remains the most technologically advanced, safest and efficient aviation system in the world.
“Without highly-skilled employees, the essential roles that our industry fulfills will cease,” the coalition said in their letter. These essential workers, they added, have allowed general aviation to provide the vital transport of medical equipment, medical personnel and patients during the pandemic and continue to connect small communities even as the airline industry reduces and eliminates services in many parts of the country.
General aviation airports, too, have been a significant asset during the pandemic, providing staging areas for critical supplies and bases for repatriation flights, research, agricultural service, utility surveying, and other vital functions such as organ transplants and aerial firefighting.
In addition to NBAA, the letter was signed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Aeronautical Repair Station, the Association Experimental Aircraft Association, Helicopter Association International, the National Association of State Aviation Officials and the National Air Transportation Association.