Airports across England are set to receive a boost as the government’s financial support scheme opens for applications.
Commercial airports and ground handlers will be able to apply for up to £8 million each to support with fixed costs while travel restrictions remain in place. The financial relief will help airports and ground handlers to cover losses on costs including airfield operations, contracted services such as airfield and runway maintenance, and business rate bills.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“A thriving aviation industry has been central to the success of this country and while we recognise the testing conditions airports are currently facing as a result of the pandemic, I believe that the sector will be ready to bounce back once restrictions are lifted.
Today’s scheme is another step in the right direction, providing vital support for an industry that is raring to get back to business, once it is safe to do so.”
Aviation Minister Robert Courts also commented:
“The aviation sector plays a crucial role in our economy, contributing £22 billion directly to the UK economy and supporting around half a million jobs.
We are well aware of the challenges facing the industry, however, this scheme will give airports and ground handlers in England a boost, helping them continue to prepare for a future when international travel is ready to take off again.”
The government has also provided flexibility to airlines to support them during this difficult time – extending the waiver of the ‘80:20’ slot usage rule in time for the summer scheduling season. This removes the requirement for airlines to operate flights at least 80% of the time to retain their slots, to reflect the current low demand for air travel.