The NBAA has welcomed news of a US$2tn stimulus bill that would grant relief to the USA’s aviation industry as it struggles with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will benefit business aviation in many ways, such as providing additional relief for airports through a US$10bn increase to Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding, of which US$100m is allocated to general aviation airports.
The bill also contains relief from the 7.5% air transportation federal excise tax for general aviation commercial operations, including FAR Part 135 flights and the suspension of the commercial fuel tax until 1 January 2021.
In addition, the CARES Act provides loans and grants to passenger and cargo air carriers, including general aviation commercial operators such as FAR Part 135 charter providers. For these commercial passenger operators and FAR Part 145 repair stations, US$25bn in direct loans and loan guarantees are available.
An additional US$25bn in grants is available to these entities for the continuation of wage payments to workers. NBAA led a general aviation industry letter to lawmakers to ensure that general aviation commercial operators were eligible for these programmes.
Additional loan programmes for small and mid-size businesses are also made available under the measure, and while they are not specific to aviation, they may offer further assistance to the thousands of small and midsize aviation businesses in the industry.
“On balance, this bill is helpful for general aviation,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the NBAA. “The industry clearly made its voice heard in ensuring that the important provisions for general aviation airports, general aviation commercial operators and other small businesses were considered as this legislation was assembled, and we look forward to the bill’s passage into law.”