Federal Funding to Aid Hawai‘i Airports in COVID Recovery
Federal funding is coming to aid Hawai‘i’s airports that experienced economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year.
Funding from the American Rescue Plan designated $144 million to airports statewide with Hawai‘i Island airports set to receive $24 million. The flexible funding can be used to pay for operational and other costs.
“Hawai‘i airport workers and the entire airline industry have taken a significant hit during this crisis,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing. “This new federal funding will support salaries for workers and help our airports recover.”
This is the second time the federal government has provided aid to airports during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March of this year, 10 airports across Hawaiʻi’s Second Congressional District received $26,795,585 from the US Department of Transportation. The grant funds were part of the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations.
Of that grant money, Hilo International Airport received approximately $3.8 million and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport received approximately $6.13 million.
In May, State lawmakers approved more than $130 million in Capital Improvement Projects for Hawai‘i Island during the 2021 Legislative session. Approximately $18 million is slated for various facility renovations at the Kona airport.