In a Jan. 29 letter sent to the U.S. Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, the American Car Rental Association (ACRA) joined other airport-related associations to ask for financial assistance in the next phase of coronavirus relief. The letter outlined how both airport and airport concessionaires have suffered during the pandemic as air passenger traffic remains 60% to 70% below pre-pandemic levels.
The letter asks Congress for $3.64 billion to allow airports to provide minimum annual guarantees (MAGs) and rent relief for airport concessionaires. That figure is in addition to a $17 billion request for airports to respond to new operational demands, pay for debt service on bonds, keep health, safety, and security projects on track, and employ airport staff.
ACRA calculated the $3.64 billion based on FAA data on 2020 airport revenue from concessionaires. The calculation takes the total decrease in airport revenue from concessionaires in 2020 compared to 2019, with the expectation that air travel may not return to pre-pandemic levels for at least a couple of years.
In addition to ACRA, the letter was cosigned by representatives from the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), the Airport Restaurant and Retail Association (ARRA), the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC), the American Car Rental Association (ACRA), the International Association of Airport Duty Free Shops (IAADFS), and the National Parking Association (NPA).
Discussions on the next relief package are active and ongoing, though Congress is far from consensus on pandemic and non-pandemic related items.