PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix and other airports around Arizona can expect to get some financial relief during this COVID-19 crisis, thanks to the "CARES Act." CARES stands for "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security."
The act will provide $224 million in emergency funds or Arizona airports. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was awarded $147,883,988. Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport was awarded $20,530,276. And Flagstaff's Pulliam Airport will receive $18,134,294. Smaller airports around the state will also get relief aid.
A full breakdown of all funds awarded to Arizona airports is available here.
Rep. Greg Stanton has been advocating for the aid. "Our airports are critical economic engines for the region, and they are experiencing great financial strain in the wake of this pandemic," Stanton said. "These funds from the CARES Act can be put to work right away to help our airports and keep workers on the payroll. We have to continue to take action to make sure our economy can withstand the effects of the coronavirus and make it to the other side of the curve as strong as possible—and that includes supporting our airports."
The funding will support continuing operations and replace lost revenue resulting from the sharp decline in passenger traffic and other airport business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his letter to House leaders, Stanton noted that passenger boardings at Sky Harbor are down 50 percent compared to last year. "With 90 percent of their costs fixed, airports like Sky Harbor have very limited flexibility to meet their financial obligations," he wrote.
The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.
Stanton's March 23 letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, and Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio is available here.
The CARES Act was signed into law by President Trump on March 27.