Feb. 8, 2021
NBAA recently joined with four other aviation associations in urging U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to help expedite assistance for commercial general aviation and regional air carrier operators under the second phase of the Payroll Support Program (PSP2).
Congress passed PSP2 as part of a consolidated appropriations bill in December 2020, after the initial round of funds provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expired two months earlier. The new bill provides up to an additional $15 billion in relief funding to assist air carriers and contractors.
However, letter noted disbursement to smaller operators has been delayed even as large commercial airlines have started to receive their funding, and applications from general aviation and regional airline operators aren’t being processed with the same degree of urgency.
“With every day that passes without certainty on the status of the financial assistance, businesses are seeing their situations worsen to the detriment of their workforce,” the associations wrote. “Our members serve small and mid-sized communities with many of them too small to support profitable air service by larger airlines. General aviation aircraft also serve our nation’s more than 5,000 public-use airports, conduct air medical flights, transport doctors and PPE, and are a critical part of the network to deliver organs for transplant.”
The letter further emphasized these operators are typically small businesses that, unlike large commercial airlines, are not publicly traded and typically do not have access to significant outside investment capital to help weather ongoing crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Furthermore, small carriers who do not file reports with the Department of Transportation pursuant to Part 241 received underfunded payroll support awards under the CARES Act relative to larger air carriers due to inequitable criteria applied to their award calculation,” the letter continued. “The PSP extension provided some remedy for this unfair treatment through gross plus-up payments in addition to helping them maintain their workforce through March 31.”
In addition to NBAA, signatories to the letter include Helicopter Association International, National Air Carrier Association, National Air Transportation Association and the Regional Airline Association.