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Acadiana airports receive funding through CARES Act

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Posted at 11:39 AM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 14:18:37-04

Funding for some airports in Acadiana has been announced thanks to the CARES Act.

On Tuesday, Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) announced that five 3rd District airports will receive over $21 million in supplemental Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Higgins' office provided the locations receiving funding below:

  • Abbeville Chris Crusta Memorial Airport will receive $30,000.
  • Le Gros Memorial Airport (Crowley) will receive $30,000.
  • DeQuincy Industrial Airpark will receive $20,000.
  • Eunice Airport will receive $30,000.
  • Jennings Airport will receive $30,000.
  • Southland Field (Sulphur) will receive $30,000.
  • Lafayette Regional Airport will receive $2,862,075.
  • Lake Charles Regional Airport will receive $18,094,502.
  • Chennault International Airport (Lake Charles) will receive $20,000.
  • Acadiana Regional Airport (New Iberia) will receive $30,000.
  • Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport (Patterson) will receive $30,000.

"Coronavirus-related travel and economic restrictions have greatly injured our local airports as well as our larger economy. This funding will help offset some of those losses and ensure our local airports can maintain essential operations. Further, we’re working to deliver financial relief to individual Americans and businesses across the spectrum. This effort is ongoing," Congressman Higgins said in a statement.

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $83,752,300 in airport aid to 55 airports in Louisiana to help respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This grant funding is part of the Trump Administration's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program , an effort to provide relief to American families, workers, and businesses.

"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 U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

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.

"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.

View a list of Louisiana airports receiving funding on an interactive map, along with funding for all U.S. airports on FAA's website.

The FAA encourages airport sponsors to spend the grant 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 CARES Act also provides funds to increase the Federal share to 100 percent for grants awarded under the fiscal year 2020 appropriations for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and Supplemental Discretionary grants. Under normal circumstances, AIP grant recipients contribute a matching percentage of the project costs. Providing this additional funding and eliminating the local share will allow critical safety and capacity projects to continue as planned regardless of airport sponsors' current financial circumstances.

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.

The CARES Act provides new funds distributed by various formulas for all airports that are part of the national airport system. This includes all commercial service airports, all reliever airports and some public-owned general aviation airports.

There is additional program information on theCARES Act website and a listing of CARES Act grants. The FAA issued the following guidance documents: Information for Airport Sponsors and CARES Act Program FAQs.

Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, also announced on Tuesday the disbursement of nearly $5 million for 5th District airports provided under the recently passed CARES Act as part of the coronavirus response.

"The air travel industry has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus outbreak and ensuing policy of social distancing with flights down some 96 percent according to the TSA. Without financial support to help cover the shortfall, many airports would be forced to cease operations completely which would greatly increase the time required to begin serving the public once again," said Abraham. "These grants will help to maintain the health of this industry so that service can be quickly restarted once the crisis has subsided and we can get back to business as usual."

The following airports in the 5th Congressional District will receive funding through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

Alexandria $2,266,472
Bastrop $30,000
Bogalusa $30,000
Jena $20,000
Jonesboro $20,000
Jonesville $20,000
Lake Providence $1,000
Marksville $30,000
Monroe $2,000,813
Oak Grove $30,000
Opelousas $30,000
Pineville $30,000
Rayville $30,000
Ruston $69,000
Tallulah $30,000
Vidalia $30,000
Winnfield $1,000
Winnsboro $30,000