Airports around New Jersey will receive federal aid as some facilities report that passenger counts are down by as much as 99 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funds, totaling $160.9 million will be used for airports to pay their workers and maintain safe operations.
Newark Liberty International Airport will receive the most in aid with $147,522,760; and Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township will receive $7,892,177. Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing will receive $4,550,905.
“Our airports play a major role in the state’s economy, as hubs for commerce and travel both domestic and international, but they’ve been hit hard as more people stay home and so many flights are grounded,” Sen. Bob Menendez in a prepared statement. “These federal resources will help our airports and employees through this crisis, and we’re going to keep fighting for additional support in any future COVID-19 stimulus package.”
Mark Amorosi, communications manager to the South Jersey Transportation Authority, told NJBIZ via email that the SJTA is grateful to Sen. Menendez, Sen. Cory Booker and the New Jersey Congressional Delegation for helping to secure airport funding during the downturn in the aviation industry caused by the COVID-19 health crisis.
“For example, Atlantic City International Airport’s passenger count for April 13 compared to the same day last year, was down over 99 percent,” Amorosi said. “We will utilize this money to pay for general airport expenses and debt service obligations the airport has incurred. The SJTA continues to work with our Senators and New Jersey’s congressional delegation, along with other airports across the country, to secure additional funds.”
Smaller airports were not left out. Awards are as follows:
Morristown Municipal Airport in Florham Park and Teterboro Airport in Teterboro will receive $157,000 each; Somerset Airport in Bedminster, Essex County Airport in Fairfield, Lincoln Park Airport in Lincoln Park, South Jersey Regional Airport in Lumberton, Ocean County Airport in Bayville, and Cape May County Airport in Rio Grande will receive $69,000 each; Hammonton Municipal Airport in Hammonton, Lakewood Airport in Lakewood, Linden Airport in Linden, Millville Executive Airport in Millville, Greenwood Lake Airport in West Milford, and Woodbine Municipal Airport in Woodbine will receive $30,000 each; Ocean City Municipal Airport in Ocean City will receive $20,000; and Monmouth Executive Airport in Wall, Central Jersey Regional Airport in Hillsborough, Solberg-Hunterdon Airport in Whitehouse Station, Trenton-Robbinsville Airport in Robbinsville, Princeton Airport in Montgomery, and Sussex Airport in Wantage will each receive $1,000 in aid.
According to Rep. Albio Sires, the aid from the stimulus package “keeps our economic engine warm for when Americans begin going back to work.”
The funding is awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration, which was allocated $10 billion to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to 32BJ SEIU Vice President Rob Hill, however, passenger service contractors applied for the grants but are have yet to see the bailout money.
“The contractor money was supposed to arrive ten days after the legislation passed but hasn’t yet,” Hill said. “The treasury has not been talking to the contractors about the plan for the payroll support even though workers desperately need help now.”
32BJ SEIU represents service workers at Newark Airport. More airport workers are laid off every day, Hill said.