August 24, 2021

Springfield & Peoria airports were awarded federal COVID-19 relief money. Here's how much

Source: State Journal-Register


Springfield and Peoria airports both qualified for seven-figure grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both D-Ill., announced Tuesday that Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport (SPI) and General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport (PIA) were awarded $1.4 million and nearly $4.4 million, respectively, by the FAA.

The money is provided by the federal American Rescue Plan Act, a recent COVID-19 relief package that Illinois' senators voted for, and will help recoup lost revenue for both Springfield's airport and the four car rental services that operate there, SPI executive director Mark Hanna said.

"The biggest thing is it’ll help with any decreases in revenue that we experienced that were budgeted," Hanna said. "Kind of unforeseen with the pandemic, you still have ongoing expenses to maintain the facilities. So the idea was to kind of help the gap with a lot of those decreases in revenues."

“Making sure airports in Central Illinois continue to have the support they need during this pandemic is critical to protecting local jobs and enhancing the traveler experience,” Duckworth said in the news release.

“This federal funding will help create a safer and more efficient experience for travelers and staff at airports around Central Illinois,” Durbin said. “Investing in our airports is key to Illinois’ economic success, especially as communities recover from the effects of COVID-19."

Money is delivered directly to those airports' governing boards: $1,415,889 to the Springfield Airport Authority, $4,394,907 to the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria and $1,849,172 for University of Illinois's board of trustees on behalf of University of Illinois Willard Airport in Savoy.

Money awarded will be directly administered at a future Springfield Airport Authority meeting.

By:  Riley Eubanks