The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded the U.S. Virgin Islands $41,145,247 to maintain its airports as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal stimulus bill.
Of the allotment, $21,527,641 is earmarked for Cyril King Airport on St. Thomas; $19, 617,606 is earmarked for Henry Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix.
The federal funds are available to:
Keep airports in reliable, safe operation to serve the aviation industry and the travelling public, and to support the economy
Keep airport and aviation workers employed
Keep airport credit ratings stable
The money can be used for any purpose airport revenues may lawfully be used under the guidelines of the FAA’s policy and procedures concerning the use of airport revenue and adhere to any additional requirements for new contracts for airport development.
The CARES Act, which was signed into law by the president on March 27, includes $10 billion in funds to be awarded as economic relief to eligible U.S. airports affected by the prevention of, preparation for and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CARES Act provides funds to increase the federal share to 100 percent for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and supplemental discretionary grants already planned for fiscal year 2020. Under normal circumstances, AIP grant recipients contribute a matching percentage of the project costs. Providing this additional funding and eliminating the local share allows critical safety and capacity projects to continue as planned regardless of airport sponsors’ current financial circumstances.
Additionally, the CARES Act provides new funds distributed by various formulas for all airports that are part of the national airport system. This includes all commercial service airports, all reliever airports and some public-owned general aviation airports.
The FAA plans to make these funds available in April.