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FAA assigns $43M in CARES Act grants to 10 Puerto Rico airports

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved a combined $43 million in aid to 10 airport facilities across Puerto Rico, the agency announced.

The bulk of the grant funding has been assigned to the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which is getting $33.4 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program.

The other airports on the island benefitting from the resources are: Aguadilla’s Rafael Hernandez Airport, with $3.5 million; Arecibo’s Antonio Nery Juarbe ($20,000); Ceiba’s José Aponte De La Torre ($1.08 million); Culebra’s Benjamin Rivera Noriega Airport ($1.06 million); Humacao’s Dr. Hermenegildo Ortiz Quiñones ($20,000); Mayaguez’s Eugenio María De Hostos ($69,000); Ponce’s Mercedita International Airport ($1.6 million); the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in Isla Grande ($1.05 million); and the Antonio Rivera Rodriguez airport in Vieques ($1.1 million).

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced the awards, which across the U.S. mainland and its territories amounts to some $10 billion.

“This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs,” said Chao in a press release.

This 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 public health emergency.

The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments, the FAA said.

“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 agency stated.

The FAA will use a streamlined application and grant-agreement process to make this funding immediately available for critical airport needs. The funds will be available as soon as the airport sponsor executes a grant agreement, it added.

“Thank you to the dedicated men and women from the FAA’s Office of Airports for creating an entirely new program in record time to assist airport sponsors in desperate need of these funds,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.  

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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