AOPA Backs Emergency Airport Funding to Fight Coronavirus Impact

NAFA member, AOPA, urges Congress to support emergency airport funding. 

AOPA and six other aviation groups are urging Congress to support needed funding for airports across the country while ensuring that small and general aviation airports also receive a portion of any funds made available to help cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Assistance to airports should include funding “exclusively for small and general aviation airports that serve thousands of communities across the country and which have also been impacted by this situation,” the groups said in a letter delivered to the bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate appropriations committees on March 23.

“We need a strong and vibrant airport ecosystem in this nation and we want to do everything we can to ensure they get help to meet the operational challenges caused by this pandemic and ultimately continue to accommodate the millions of general aviation operations each year,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “These airports will remain a priority for us.”

The letter noted that volunteer pilots fly from airports that are the lifeline of many small and rural communities to deliver goods and services during times of natural disasters and emergencies. The diverse general and business aviation aircraft fleet is “capable of rapidly responding to needs in every part of the country and transporting time sensitive supplies, medical and testing equipment, organs for transplants, and key personnel and patients on demand,” it said, adding that “now more than ever, the country will rely on our airport ecosystem.”

As the pandemic has continued, AOPA has been reporting on the coronavirus’s increasing impact on GA airports, events, and activities.

The organizations that joined AOPA in signing the letter include the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, the National Air Transportation Association, the National Business Aviation Association, and the National Association of State Aviation Officials.

This article was originally published by AOPA on March 23, 2020.