The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) applauded the United States Senate passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID-relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan, which provides additional targeted relief for the aviation industry. The bill will now go back to the House of Representatives for final consideration and passage before being sent to President Biden.
Under the bill, the Payroll Support Program (PSP) for air carriers and general aviation commercial operators would receive $14 billion, plus another $1 billion for qualifying contractors. The Department of the Treasury is directed to distribute funds by April 15 and extend the program through September 2021.
The legislation also provides an additional $8 billion in funding for airport infrastructure projects, $100 million of which would be designated for general aviation and non-primary airports.
Included in the legislation is the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act, initially introduced by Reps. Rick Larsen (D-2-WA) and Ron Estes (R-4-KS). This establishes a temporary relief program to provide a 50% cost-share to help cover costs of pay, benefits, and training for aerospace manufacturing employees at risk of being furloughed or who were furloughed due to the pandemic.
For small businesses, the legislation includes an additional $15 billion for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The far-reaching package also includes as much as $14 billion for vaccine distribution and billions for healthcare-focused initiatives, including expanded COVID-19 testing and tracing.
“This legislation brings critical relief to the business aviation industry as the ongoing reductions in business travel and the potential for additional Covid-related impacts create significant uncertainty for our community,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We applaud the recent Senate action and urge the House of Representatives to act quickly and ensure our industry, and all Americans, receive this targeted assistance as we look to recover from the pandemic.”