As the U.S. government considers widespread economic relief packages in the wake of COVID-19, a coalition of aviation groups are asking that small airports not be ignored. “We write to thank you for your tremendous efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and to respectfully request, should Congress consider supplemental appropriations, that any assistance to our nation’s airports include a specific amount be set-aside exclusively for small and general aviation airports that serve thousands of communities across the country and which have also been impacted by this situation,” the groups said in a joint statement.
“General aviation airports have routinely played a critical role in ensuring that volunteer pilots can deliver goods and services during times of natural disasters and emergencies. The general and business aviation industry is comprised of a diverse fleet, capable of rapidly responding to needs in every part of the country and transporting time sensitive supplies, medical and testing equipment, organs for transplants, and key personnel and patients on demand.”
The letter was signed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Helicopter Association International, the National Air Transportation Association, the National Business Aviation Association and the National Association of State Aviation Officials. On Tuesday, the Congress had not agreed to the terms of a nearly $2 trillion package to stabilize the economy in the face of a free-falling stock market, widespread shutdowns and layoffs and increasing restrictions placed on everyday Americans.