From the office of Rep. Val Demings
U.S. Representatives Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy, and Darren Soto announced that Florida airports and airport businesses will receive over $200 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to overcome the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Central Florida, Orlando International Airport (MCO) will receive more than $41.5 million and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) will receive over $5.5 million in federal support.
“This new federal relief is a vital part of our work to restore Central Florida’s economy and save jobs during the pandemic," said Rep. Demings. "I am glad to see this funding allocated and am working to pass the next package of emergency COVID relief, including financial support for individuals and small businesses. There is hope on the horizon as the President’s expanded vaccine rollout continues, but we still have a long way to go and we cannot leave anyone behind.”
“As a result of COVID-19, air travel has been substantially reduced nationwide, and this has severely impacted our local economy and hurt our local airports and the small businesses that operate within them," said Rep. Murphy. "Last year, I helped push for bipartisan legislation that was enacted into law to support Florida airports, airport workers, and airport-related businesses so they can weather this health and economic storm, and be ready to serve Central Florida travelers and tourists once the pandemic ends.”
“As we continue to combat this pandemic, our local airports continue to be hit tremendously hard as a result of reduced air travel throughout the past last year," said Rep. Soto. "I am proud to announce with my colleagues these funds that will ensure that essential services and small businesses within the airport are protected during this devastating time along with workers and travelers.”
These federal funds are being allocated as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act passed by Congress on December 24, 2020, which contained nearly $2 billion in funding to be awarded as economic relief to eligible U.S. airports—and eligible businesses at those airports—to enable them to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of these funds is specifically allocated to airports to provide relief to on-airport car rental, on-airport parking, and in-terminal airport concessions.
In 2020, passenger traffic at MCO declined more than 57 percent to 21.6 million passengers, down from a record high of 50.6 million in 2019. In 2020, passenger traffic at SFB declined 53 percent to 1.5 million passengers, from a record high of 3.2 million in 2019.
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