Local airports to receive relief funds from COVID-19 stimulus package

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — With the American economy still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it is now clearer where funds from the government stimulus check will go.

Illinois airports will be receiving just over $450 million from the federal rescue package.

Central Illinois Regional Airport is receiving just over $4 million from the package.

Under the terms of the coronavirus aid, relief, and economic security act (CARES) commercial airports with more than 10,000 passengers per year are eligible.

The airport believes the money will help keep things running, even while the amount of flights going out continues to decrease.

Right now Fran Strebing, the deputy director of marketing at the airport says they are working on an action plan to determine the best ways to use the money.

“We have to first find out the details of what it can be used for and how it will be administered and then we will be looking for how it will be programmed in. There are a number of ways that are allowable as we understand them but we are waiting for the complete guidance on that,” said Strebing.

Peoria International Airport is expected to receive approximately $6.2 million in relief aid.

Gene Olson, director of airports, said the money will be used to make up the loss in revenue from the decline in flights and passenger acivity.

He said the funds are a saving grace for the airport.

“We’re going to use this funding to offset the decreases in those funds,” Olson said. “So we’re looking at payroll, we’re looking at security fees, utilities and any kind of chunk in our budget that we can apply to that.”

Olson said the intent of the aid is to preserve employment and not have to lay off employees.

He said the Federal Aviation Administration is trying to disperse the funds by next week.

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