Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, released a statement announcing that the three airports in her congressional district each received a federal grant to address the economic impact of the coronavirus on their operations. The grants were provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pursuant to the CARES Act as follows: $69,000 for Hawthorne Municipal Airport (also known as Jack Northrop Field), $69,000 for Torrance Municipal Airport (also known as Zamperini Field), and $323,636,269 for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Her statement follows:
“I am proud to announce that all three of the airports in my district received grants to help them weather the enormous economic impact of the coronavirus on their operations. The Hawthorne Municipal Airport and the Torrance Municipal Airport each received $69,000, and LAX received more than $323 million. These funds will help the airports pay the salaries of their workers and maintain safe operations for workers, vendors, and passengers despite the unprecedented decline in air travel caused by the pandemic.
“I am especially proud that these grants were funded by the historic CARES Act, which passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. This $2 trillion economic security package – the largest in our nation’s history – contained several provisions that will help the airports and workers who are the heart of our nation’s air travel system. The bill provides $10 billion for our nation’s airports and airport workers and an additional $50 billion in grants and direct lending to passenger airlines ‘that shall exclusively be used for the continuation of payment of employee wages, salaries, and benefits’ for airline workers, including pilots, flight attendants, and ticketing agents. Airlines and airports must continue to employ at least 90 percent of their workforce in order to receive CARES Act funding.
“I worked very hard to make sure the CARES Act included strong protections for airport workers and their families, and I am pleased that this landmark legislation is supporting all three of the airports in my district and the workers who depend upon them for their livelihoods.
“Airports play a vital role in our society, our economy, and our world. They facilitate commerce, education, science, and tourism. They have enabled generations of Americans to travel, experience new places, meet people, and learn about the world around us. Even in the midst of the current pandemic, our nation’s airports facilitate the shipping of life-saving medical supplies and other essential goods and services, and allow doctors, nurses and first responders to travel to the places where their skills are most needed. They even enable me and my colleagues in Congress to travel to Washington, DC, and vote on matters of critical importance to our nation and then return safely to our communities to serve our constituents.
“While stopping the spread of the coronavirus necessitates that Americans avoid all but the most essential air travel, we must nevertheless ensure that all of our nation’s airports, large and small, are able to continue to operate in a safe manner, pay their workers, and prepare for the day when Americans will once again be able to travel freely without fear of the coronavirus.”