Congressman Cohen Expresses Ongoing Concern about Misguided Payments to Airports

July 21, 2020
Press Release
Seeks Correction of Unintended “Windfall” Created by CARES Act


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, today wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Peter DeFazio of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen to express his concern about the misguided formula for airport relief authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that went into effect in late March.

Congressman Cohen has previously pointed out that the spending formula devised by the U.S. Senate and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gives a disproportionate share of funding to smaller airports based on their carried debt, rather than their commercial passengers and loss of revenue. Some small airports are slated to receive grants for four years’ worth of operating expenses.

“The CARES Act was not intended to reward airports that did not have debt; it was intended to help airports that were severely impacted by the coronavirus and allow them to maintain employees until service returns,” Congressman Cohen wrote. He asked that the situation be rectified during ongoing negotiations with the Senate over the scope of the House-based Heroes Act.

See his letter here.

Congressman Cohen represents a district containing the second busiest cargo airport in the world and fifth busiest in traffic activity in the nation.