Transportation Industry Receives Billions in COVID-19 Financial Assistance in December Relief Bill

On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA), signed by President Trump on December 27, 2020, which provides more than $45 billion in critical financial assistance to the transportation industry, one of the industries most distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to the CARES Act, the stimulus bill passed earlier in 2020, financial assistance in the CAA comes in the form of grants that are available until expended, with varying stipulations and assurances from the federal government attached. The primary beneficiaries under the CAA include airlines, public transit agencies and transportation service providers.

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Avoiding Improper Use Of CARES Act Airport Grants

Like much of the transportation industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s airports are experiencing significant losses in revenue. Airports Council International predicts that the U.S. airport industry will lose $23 billion as a result of COVID-19.

Title XII of Division B of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act addresses these significant economic disruptions by providing approximately $10 billion to U.S. airports “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency.” The funding is somewhat discretionary, with a requirement that it be used for any purpose for which airport revenues may lawfully be used, so long as the use of funds is related to the airport.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorneys Alan Kessler, Jamie Brown and Rachel Kubasek, which was originally published by Law360, please visit the firm website.