FAA Determines 9/11 Reimbursement Rules

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The FAA on Monday published its final rule regarding how it will compensate aviation businesses in the Washington, D.C., area that suffered financial losses due to airport closures following 9/11. Congress has provided up to $17 million for reimbursements, with no more than $5 million to go to the three Maryland airports: College Park, Potomac Airfield and Washington Executive/Hyde Field. Also eligible for funds are Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Washington South Capitol Street Heliport. Signature Flight Support's DCA facility has claimed more than $5 million in losses in the 9/11 aftermath. The procedures take effect on May 9. The businesses can be reimbursed for the difference between the income they could have reasonably expected during the shutdown period and the income they actually earned. A number of commenters from businesses at Hyde Field asked that they also should be reimbursed for losses when the airport was shut down due to a violation of post-9/11 security rules. They argued that most of the delay in reopening was due to slow government response, not the violation itself; and in any case they were not responsible for the violation. The FAA, however, said the closure was caused by the violator, not by the government, and denied reimbursement.