The Federal Aviation Administration Awards $10 Billion to Commercial and General Aviation Airports

Published: April 16, 2020

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The FAA has awarded $10 billion in relief to support continuing operations and lost revenue for America's airports.

The U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has announced an award of approximately $10 billion to commercial and general aviation airports from the newly created Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program.

These funds will be used to aid in continued operations of airports during the ongoing crisis and keep jobs in place. The funding is also expected to replace lost revenue and other airport business as a result of large scale passenger traffic decline. The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.

Below is additional information on sponsor spending and share information from the news release:

The FAA encourages airport sponsors to spend the grants funds immediately to help minimize any adverse impact from the current public health emergency. Airport sponsors should work with their local FAA Office of Airports field office on the application and grant-agreement process.

The CARES Act also provides funds to increase the Federal share to 100 percent for grants awarded under the fiscal year 2020 appropriations for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and Supplemental Discretionary grants. Under normal circumstances, AIP grant recipients contribute a matching percentage of the project costs. Providing this additional funding and eliminating the local share will allow critical safety and capacity projects to continue as planned regardless of airport sponsors’ current financial circumstances.”

The CARES Act divides the $10 billion into four groups:

  • Group 1: Increasing the Federal Share to 100% for FY 2020 AIP and FY 2020 Supplemental Discretionary grants – At least $500 million
  • Group 2: Commercial Service Airports – At least $7.4 billion
  • Group 3: Primary Commercial Airport – Up to $2 billion
  • Group 4: General Aviation Airports – At least $100 million

The top 5 airports receiving the highest aid amount are as follows:

  • Atlanta, Georgia’s Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International ATL - $338,535,265
  • Los Angeles, California’s Los Angeles International LAX - $323,636,269
  • Fort Worth, Texas’s Dallas Fort Worth International DFW - $299,199,046
  • Chicago, Illinois’s Chicago O’Hare International ORD - $294,441,928
  • Denver, Colorado’s Denver International DEN - $269,073,999

In total, 3,285 large international and small general aviation airports will be receiving a portion of the grant funds.

Please find the complete list of airports and funding amounts, which are part of this grant, in the excel file attached to this article titled CARES Act Grant Amounts to Airports.

The FAA has provided several resources for reference, they are as below:

  1. Map of CARES Funding
  2. CARES Act Airport Grants Presentation
  3. CARES Act Airport Grants – Frequently Asked Questions (last updated April 13, 2020)


Press ReleaseFAA CARES Act Webpage