On Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved new relief for aerospace manufacturers along with additional funding for airports, air carriers, and certain contractors as part of the sweeping $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. The overall package narrowly cleared the full House by a 219-212 vote and is now headed to the Senate for consideration.
New in this particular relief package is the 50/50 cost-share program to help aerospace manufacturers and MROs recall or keep workers on the payroll that would be at risk of furlough as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. House aviation subcommittee chairman Rick Larsen (R-Washington), who was a driver behind the measure, estimated that the pandemic has caused an estimated 100,000 aerospace manufacturing workers nationwide to lose their jobs and that another 220,000 jobs remain at risk of furlough.
The measure would set aside $3 billion for the program, which has drawn bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.
General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce was appreciative of the leaders in both chambers for their support of this bill, saying it would help the manufacturing and maintenance organizations to either retain and or bring back highly-skilled workers to ensure they remain in aviation and “do not go and filter into other industry.” He noted the 50/50 cost-share and stressed the program “is not a handout.”
In addition to that relief, the bill would continue the payroll support program for air carriers and their contractors, setting aside $15 billion in all. Of that, $14 billion is designated directly to air carriers and the remaining to contractors. The bill would extend the program through September 30.
Another $8 billion would be set aside for airports—$100 million of which is designated for general aviation and non-primary airports.