Heinrich, Luján, Leger Fernández Welcome Over $11 Million In COVID-19 Relief For 28 New Mexico Airports
WASHINGTON (April 14, 2021) – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently awarded over $8.5 million in COVID-19 relief grants, in addition to over $2.8 million announced in March, to 28 New Mexico airports. The funding is being made available through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act (CRRSAA) that Congress passed in late December 2020.
The CRRSAA included $2 billion in funds to be awarded as economic relief to eligible U.S. airports for costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, sanitization, janitorial services, combating the spread of pathogens at the airport, and debt service payments. Concessions funds provide reliefs to concessionaires at airports – car-rental, parking, and in-terminal concessions – from rent and minimum annual guarantees.
“The unprecedented decline in air travel throughout the pandemic has taken its toll on small and local airports that connect communities all across New Mexico to tourism, business opportunities, and commercial aviation,” said Heinrich. “I’m proud to support this critical funding that we secured in the December COVID-19 relief package so that these airports in New Mexico can continue providing critical services and play their role in the state’s economic recovery.”
“In December, Congress came together to pass a bipartisan package to keep the government funded and help New Mexicans weather the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation provided crucial investments for our communities, including airports across New Mexico and the small businesses that serve them. This crucial relief for our airports and small businesses will help them keep their doors open and continue supporting local economies,” said Luján, a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass the American Jobs Plan, which will help create jobs and opportunities and make investments in our airports and transportation systems.”
“It’s wonderful that New Mexico will receive 16 grants from the Department of Transportation to help support small businesses located in our airports. These businesses have suffered greatly during the pandemic but help is here,” said Leger Fernández. “The Aztec Municipal and Raton Municipal Airports in my district will receive crucial support. We remain committed to securing the necessary relief for communities in every zip code to keep our local economies running and continue the work to build back better. I thank our Senators for the work they’ve done and look forward to continuing to work with the New Mexico delegation to facilitate more investments into our communities.”
To distribute these funds, the FAA established the Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program. The FAA makes grants to all airports that are part of the national airport system, including all commercial service airports, all reliever airports, and some public-owned general aviation airports.
Under this new Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program:
- Primary commercial service airports, those with more than 10,000 annual passenger boardings, will share $1.75 billion based on the number of annual boardings, in a similar way to how they currently receive Airport Improvement Program (AIP) entitlement funds.
- Primary commercial service airports will share an additional $200 million based on the number of annual boardings, and these funds will then be available for these airports to provide relief from rent and minimum annual guarantees to on-airport car rental, on-airport parking, and in-terminal airport concessions. Airports will provide this relief to each airport concession based on its proportional share of the total annual rent and minimum annual guarantees for the airport.
- Non-primary commercial service and general aviation airports will share $45 million based on their airport categories, such as National, Regional, Local, and Basic. Of that $45 million, airports that participate in the FAA Contract Tower Program will divide $5 million equally.
A breakdown of the $8,521,241 in grants announced in April is below.
- $6,754,069, and $565,730 in concession funds, to Albuquerque International Sunport in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- $1,009,435, and $5,948 in concession funds, to Lea County Regional Airport in Hobbs, New Mexico
- $57,162 for the ACRGP Contract Tower program to Double Eagle II Airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- $23,000 to Doña Ana County International Jetport in Santa Teresa, New Mexico
- $13,000 to Belen Regional Airport in Belen, New Mexico
- $13,000 to Portales Municipal Airport in Portales, New Mexico
- $13,000 to Raton Municipal Airport (Crews Field) in Raton, New Mexico
- $12,897 in concessions funds to Roswell International Air Center in Roswell, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Aztec Municipal Airport in Aztec, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Fort Sumner Municipal Airport in Fort Sumner, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Grants-Milan Municipal Airport in Grants, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Hatch Municipal Airport in Hatch, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Socorro Municipal Airport in Socorro, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Truth or Consequences Municipal Airport in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
A breakdown of the $2,838,545 in grants announced in March is below.
- $1,570,927 to Santa Fe Municipal Airport in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- $1,020,456 to Roswell International Air Center in Roswell, New Mexico
- 57,162 for the ACRGP Contract Tower program to Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, New Mexico
- $23,000 to Grant County Airport in Silver City, New Mexico
- $23,000 to Artesia Municipal Airport in Artesia, New Mexico
- $23,000 to Clovis Regional Airport in Clovis, New Mexico
- $23,000 to Las Cruces International Airport in Las Cruces, New Mexico
- $23,000 to Sierra Blanca Regional Airport in Ruidoso, New Mexico
- $13,000 to Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport in Alamogordo, New Mexico
- $13,000 to Gallup Municipal Airport in Gallup, New Mexico
- $13,000 to Los Alamos Airport in Los Alamos, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Angel Fire Airport in Angel Fire, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Conchas State Park Airport in Conchas Dam, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Lordsburg Municipal Airport in Lordsburg, New Mexico
- $9,000 to Springer Municipal Airport in Springer, New Mexico