Congress has voted in favor of $10 billion in immediate relief to assist America’s airports struggling to remain operational as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) will lead a period of assessment in coming weeks to understand the precise amount it will receive based on the framework handed down by the federal government.
The funding provided by Congress may be used for infrastructure projects, janitorial services, staffing, workforce retention, airport operations, emergency response and debt service payments. The funding will flow through the existing FAA Airport Improvement Program.
“Philadelphia International Airport thanks our regional delegation in Congress for supporting the inclusion of COVID-19 relief funding in this legislative package. These funds will greatly assist our nation’s airports in this time of need.” said PHL CEO Chellie Cameron. “Decreased air travel resulting from coronavirus restrictions has decimated America’s aviation system. PHL, one of Philadelphia’s major economic contributors and employment generators, is facing losses of tens of millions of dollars. The funding approved by Congress means we can continue to serve the traveling public and contribute to the Greater Philadelphia region’s devastated economy.”
In 2019, PHL generated $16.8 billion in spending to the regional economy, accounting for 106,000 jobs. More than 20,000 employees work within the airport facility.
Prior to the vote, PHL proactively reduced its operational footprint by condensing its activities across terminals and security checkpoints to lower overhead costs for cleaning and maintenance, and temporarily suspended construction projects not critical to airport operations.
“The PHL team will continue to seek ways to reduce our spending while continuing to fulfill the Airport’s role as a key hub for the country’s aviation system and regional revenue generator,” said Cameron.