Washington, DC, March 27, 2020 - Today, the House of Representatives passed the CARES Act, which was signed into law by President Trump this evening. While the ACT provides some assistance for small businesses in the form of loans and payroll relief, and provides relief for the airlines and airports with commercial airline service (with only $100 million to general aviation airports), it falls short in helping the immediate crisis facing thousands of aviation businesses that provide critical services to our infrastructure.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) worked hard and was successful in getting Part 135 certificated charter operators and Part 145 MRO businesses included in the package provided to the airlines. Additionally, FBOs that provide ground handling services to commercial airlines are eligible for some relief. NATA was also successful in obtaining relief from the “ticket tax” and “fuel tax” for Part 135 operators. However, the bulk of relief provided by the Act aimed at aviation was written with commercial airlines in mind and, thus, imposes a number of conditions on the recipients of federal assistance that aviation businesses might find untenable.
“We are disappointed that the immediate relief needed for aviation businesses was largely left out of the Act,” stated NATA President and CEO Timothy Obitts. “While these businesses may be eligible for the other small business support provided in the Act, the authors failed to recognize that aviation businesses in the United States support 1.2 million jobs and $247 billion in annual economic activity.”
“NATA will continue our fight for additional resources for general aviation businesses. We are already in discussions with Members of Congress about what relief is immediately needed for these businesses to continue to support our Nation’s important aviation infrastructure,” added Obitts.
“Aviation businesses will be a lynchpin in our nation’s response to the coronavirus and a critical part of the recovery of the national air space system. These vital businesses help keep aviation moving, and we have to do everything we can to support them,” concluded Obitts.
To that end, NATA is continuing to develop and provide access to valuable industry resources and information on our webpage: www.nata.aero/advocacy/coronavirus.
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The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for 80 years. Representing nearly 2,300 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.