WASHINGTON — With the American economy still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we're starting to get a clearer picture as to where funds from the $2.2 trillion federal rescue package will go.
On Wednesday, we learned more than $50 million of that money will go directly to 14 airports across Northern Ohio. The vast majority of that cash ($46.3 million) will go to the largest facility of all: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur announced the distribution of the money, while also issuing the following statement:
"I am pleased to announce that airports across our region have been awarded federal economic relief funding to offset the losses associated with the prevention, preparation, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Americans across Northern Ohio depend on these airports, whether it be for business or recreation. Ensuring these airports remain fully operational throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic is of the utmost importance. I am pleased to have worked with my colleagues in Congress to ensure airports and those who depend on them throughout Northern Ohio receive the federal support they need as we all weather this crisis."
Under the terms of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, commercial airports with more than 10,000 passengers per year are eligible to receive extra funds from the government's Airport Improvement Program, with the exact amount determined by just how many passengers the airport has along with factors such as debt. The city of Cleveland says Hopkins saw more than 700,000 total passengers this past January alone.
Hopkins is far from the only local airport to receive stimulus money: Akron-Canton Regional Airport will get $7.6 million, according to Rep. Tim Ryan. The following small airports can also expect funds:
- Akron Fulton International Airport: $69,000
- Erie-Ottawa International Airport: $69,000
- Lorain County Regional Airport: $69,000
- Kent State University Airport: $30,000
- Portage County Airport: $30,000
- Put-in-Bay Airport: $20,000
"We need to be sure that our airports continue to be able to provide a safe environment for their employees and passengers," Ryan sais. "This funding will ensure that our airports have the resources they need to continue serving our community after we get through this crisis."
The FAA will make the funds available sometime this month, according to Kaptur's office.
STIMULUS CALCULATOR: See how much you'll likely be getting