Maryland Airports Get $107 Million in Federal Relief Funds

    Maryland airports, which have been hit hard by the drop-off in air travel, received more than $100 million in federal relief funds this week, the state’s congressional delegation announced.

    Most of the aid, which comes from the federal CARES Act via the Federal Aviation Administration, went to Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International.

    BWI received $87,600,000 of the state’s $107.7 million allocation.

    In 2018, the latest year for which statistics are available, nearly 13.4 million passengers boarded a flight there, making it the 22nd most popular airport in the nation.

    But air travel has taken a nosedive since the COVID-19 crisis hit, causing extreme financial hardship for airports and the businesses and workers who serve passengers.

    On April 15, the Transportation Security Administration screened just 90,784 passengers nationally, a 96% reduction from the 2.3 million passengers screened on the same date in 2019.

    Figures for individual airports are not available, but TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said “what is happening nationally is happening at every airport across the country, regardless of airport size, including at Baltimore.”

    In all, 18 Maryland airports received some funding. The largest grants, after BWI,  went to:

    * Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional: $18,120,304

    * Hagerstown Regional-Richard A. Henson Field: $1,126,907

    * Easton/Newnam Field in Easton: $157,000

    * Martin State Airport in Middle River: $157,000

    “Maryland’s airports, large and small, have always been critical economic hubs for our state and the entire mid-Atlantic region,” Maryland’s congressional delegation said in a joint statement.

    “Amid the COVID-19 crisis, our airports face unprecedented financial challenges – all while supporting our region’s response to this pandemic. These federal funds will help Maryland’s airports, their thousands of workers, and the communities that rely on them.”

    When it passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act last month, Congress designated $10 billion in relief for America’s airports.

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    Bruce DePuyt
    Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.