This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Republican leaders in the U.S. House joined a growing appeal to the Department of Treasury to release Payroll Support Program (PSP) funding to small carriers. Transportation and Infrastructure Committee ranking Republican Sam Graves (Missouri) and aviation subcommittee ranking Republican Garret Graves (Louisiana) wrote a letter calling on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to “break the bureaucratic logjam delaying critical PSP2 funds to the nation’s smaller airlines.”
Their letter followed a similar letter the National Air Transportation Association sent to Yellen, saying the delay in issuance of funding set aside in the December Covid-19 relief bill “has created a real hardship for these companies, many of which are small businesses.”
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 passed in December had renewed the PSP through March 31, and funds since have been disbursed for the nation’s largest carriers. But, the joint Graves letter noted that two months have passed since that bill was adopted, and “we are greatly alarmed that smaller, less financially secure air carriers and operators have still not received PSP2 assistance.”
They understood the decision to prioritize large carriers to ensure the money gets to the most workers as quickly as possible, but said, “It defies explanation that smaller air carriers have still not received assistance.” They delay, they added, “puts hundreds of small businesses at unnecessary risk of shutting down forever…This must not happen.”