FAA Releases FAQs Regarding the Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program
In addition to the $10 billion in grants from airports under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, 2021 provides $2 billion in airport funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including relief from rent and minimum annual guarantees for eligible airport concessions at primary airports.
CRRSA funds are available to Primary Commercial Service Airports and Certain Cargo Airports, Non-Primary Commercial Service and General Aviation Airports, non-Primary Airports Participating in the FAA Contract Tower Program and Primary Commercial Service Airports and will be allocated into those four groups by formula at a 100% Federal share. However, if an airport was allocated more than four times its annual operating expenses under the CARES Act (based on FY2018 operating expenses), their CRRSA allocation will be zero when the FAA announces award allocations.
Airports receiving CRRSA funds can use these funds for activities that are directly related to the airport, including cost related to operations, personnel, cleaning, sanitization, janitorial services, combating the spread of pathogens at the airport, and debt service payments and these funds must obligated by September 30, 2021. Any expenses not directly related to the airport are unallowable under CRRSA. Unlike CARES, CRRSA does not provide funding to increase the Federal share on FY21 AIP or Supplemental Discretionary grants.
FAA has released a Frequently Asked Questions document that discusses the $2 billion in airport funding provided by CRRSA. Although this guidance is not legally binding, it outlines the process for airports to obtain Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program funds, appropriate uses for the grant funds, invoicing and payments, grant closeout, and workforce retention, among other items.