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Local airports get federal pandemic relief

As part of the Schumer-negotiated CARES Act economic relief available to U.S. airports nearly grounded by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $441,274,414 in federal funding allocated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for airports all across New York State.

That funding includes nearly $100,000 for the two airports in Chautauqua County.

The CARES Act provides funds to increase the federal share to 100% for the Airport Improvement Program and other grants already planned for fiscal year 2020. Schumer and Gillibrand explained that the additional funding and elimination of the local share will allow for critical safety and capacity projects to continue as planned, despite the current financial impact of COVID-19 on airports.

“As a gateway for business, family connection and tourism, keeping New York’s airports safe, functioning and well-funded is crucial to the Upstate New York economy and way of life,” said Senator Schumer. “This federal funding will offset the devastating financial impacts of COVID-19 on travel hubs throughout the state and allow New York airports to continue to work on essential services, like airport safety, and most importantly, will help New York airports have the tools they need to properly rebuild after the crisis is over. I’m proud to have fought for this funding to be included in the CARES act which will boost airports and the New York economy.”

“Investing in airport safety and infrastructure promotes local economic development in our communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “New Yorkers are already feeling the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, and this funding from the CARES Act is a promising step toward restoring business, tourism, and mobility. I will always fight for resources that help our communities grow and thrive.”

The senators said that the FAA was planning to begin releasing funding in April and would provide additional guidance on the Program next week.

The Dunkirk airport was awarded $30,000 and the Jamestown airport was awarded $69,000.

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