SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The Sacramento Department of Airports was awarded $48.6 million in grants from the US Department of Transportation as part of the funding in the American Rescue Plan to recover from the losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.
The bulk of the money, more than $43 million, will go toward recovery efforts with the rest going to eligible in-terminal concessionaries, airport department officials wrote in a press release.
The monies are earmarked for things like employee salaries, construction projects that may have been halted during the pandemic, operational expenses – especially new expenses like enhanced cleaning and PPE – rent relief for in-terminal concessions, and more.
“This Airport Rescue Plan Act will help keep our workers employed and will facilitate the continued recovery of our airlines and tenants as more of our customers begin traveling again,” said Cindy Nichol, Director of Airports for Sacramento County.
According to Nichol, traffic at Sacramento International Airport is recovering but more work still needs to be done. Traffic at the airport was still down 23% for May 2021 versus May 2019. The airport is expected to finish the fiscal year down nearly 50% from the ’18-’19 fiscal year.
In total, the Department of Transportation is awarding $8 billion in grants to airports across the country. One provision required to receive the money is that airports must continue to employ at least 90% of their pre-pandemic staff.