Puerto Rico airports get $8.5M Coronavirus Response grant from FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration approved a second grant to the Puerto Rico Ports Authority for $8.5 million as part of a new round of the Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program to provide aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, agency Executive Director Josel Pizá-Batiz said.
“This new grant will provide economic relief the Ports Authority’s nine airports to face the COVID-19 public health emergency,” he said.
This includes the international airports of Aguadilla and Ponce, and the regional airports of Isla Grande, Arecibo, Ceiba, Humacao, Culebra, Vieques, and Mayagüez.
“It should be noted that these funds are only to cover operating expenses and not to carry out capital improvement projects,” Pizá-Batiz said.
The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for some $26 million in losses for the agency between March 2020 and January 2021, he said.
In December 2020, the US government granted $2 billion in additional funding to be distributed as grants among eligible airports impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the US and its territories.
“Given our status as an island, it’s essential that all of our international airports are receiving commercial flights. These federal funds that we got — $8.5 million for our airports, which are part of the total $70.7 million in both economic packages for COVID-19 — are key to making possible the governor’s initiative to resume commercial flights at Aguadilla international airports and Ponce, to reactivate the economy, and to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 in the other regional airports,” Pizá-Batiz said.
Commercial flights are expected to resume at the Aguadilla and Ponce airports on April 1, as this media outlet reported.