nbaa welcomes legislation providing covid-19 relief

March 26, 2020

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) welcomed Senate passage of a $2 trillion stimulus bill that would grant relief to the nation’s aviation industry, including general aviation (GA), as it grapples with the staggering effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed by the Senate today; the House is expected to likewise approve the legislation, with the President’s signature to follow shortly thereafter.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen pointed to several provisions in the bill that will benefit the GA community, including business aviation. These include additional relief for airports through a $10 billion increase to Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding, with $100 million specially allocated to general aviation airports, in recognition of their critical importance to communities, particularly in times of crisis.

The bill also contains relief from the 7.5% air transportation federal excise tax for general aviation commercial operations, including FAR Part 135 flights, and suspension of the commercial fuel tax until Jan. 1, 2021. NBAA successfully worked to have these measures extended to all GA operators that pay such taxes. 

In addition, the CARES Act provides loans and grants to passenger and cargo air carriers, including general aviation commercial operators, such as FAR Part 135 charter providers. For these commercial passenger operators and FAR Part 145 repair stations, $25 billion in direct loans and loan guarantees are available. An additional $25 billion in grants are available to these entities for the continuation of wage payments to workers. NBAA led a general aviation industry letter to lawmakers to ensure that general aviation commercial operators were eligible for these programs. Read NBAA’s letter in its entirety.  

Additional loan programs for small and mid-size businesses are also made available under the measure, and while they are not specific to aviation, they may offer further assistance to the thousands of small and midsize aviation businesses in the industry.

“On balance, this bill is helpful for general aviation,” Bolen said. “The industry clearly made its voice heard in ensuring that the important provisions for general aviation airports, general aviation commercial operators and other small businesses were considered as this legislation was assembled, and we look forward to the bill’s passage into law.”

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org