A new set of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan is heading to Orlando. Orlando International Airport will receive over $171 million as part of a nationwide $8 billion in grants to keep U.S. airport workers employed, construction projects going, and help U.S. airports recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Orlando International Airport will receive over $150 million for general airport relief and an additional $21 million for relief for concessionaires at the airport for a total of over $171 million from the American Rescue Plan.
“I am proud to announce today’s new funding, which will help our airport recover, welcome visitors and residents back to Orlando,” Representative Val Demings said this week. The Airport Rescue Grants Program provides economic relief to eligible commercial service, relievers, and general aviation airports. The money will help keep people safe and employed by reimbursing operational expenses, debt service payments, and costs related to combating the spread of pathogens at the airport. Airports can also use the money to provide rent relief to in-terminal retail and concession companies. The funding requires that airports continue to employ at least 90 percent of their pre-pandemic employees for those airports that cover a majority of the traveling public.
“The Airport Rescue Grants keep workers employed and help the aviation sector recover as more Americans get vaccinated and begin traveling again,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These grants are part of the Administration’s commitment to building back a better and safer transportation system throughout our country.” The American Rescue Plan was passed by Democrats in Congress earlier this year. No Republican members of Congress supported the American Rescue Plan.