North Carolina airports to receive $283M in COVID-19 federal relief

North Carolina airports will receive $283 million in federal aid from the coronavirus stimulus package.

The Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, the state’s busiest airport, will receive 47 percent, or $135 million, of that funding as the state’s biggest airport, the Federal Aviation Administration announced this week.

The federal funds must be used for capital expenditures, debt payments and operational costs, including payroll, the FAA said.

Airports across the country will receive $10 billion total in emergency funding as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.

“This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement.

Airport activity nationally has declined drastically in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as states have issued stay-at-home orders and discouraged all “non-essential” travel.

As of Thursday, security checkpoints traffic decreased by 96 percent nationally, according to Transportation Security Administration.

On Thursday morning, 95,085 passengers went through airport security checkpoints across the nation. More than 2.6 million passengers crossed checkpoints the same day in 2019.

“North Carolina’s airports have seen a dramatic decrease in passenger travel due to COVID-19. This unprecedented travel reduction has drastically impacted airport revenues putting operations and jobs on the line,” U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC, said.

Across the state, 72 airports will receive emergency funding from the CARES Act, the FAA said.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport will receive $45 million. Wilmington International Airport will receive $19.8 million. Coastal Carolina Regional Airport will receive $18.6 million. Pitt-Greenville Airport will receive $18 million.

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