The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) applauded guidance from the Department of the Treasury, ensuring that qualifying passenger air carriers – including many small charter operators in NBAA’s membership – have more flexible access to the Payroll Support Program contained in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Through this program, air carriers can apply for support to continue paying employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the debate on the CARES Act, NBAA led a significant effort to ensure that general aviation air carriers, such as FAR Part 135 operators, were eligible for this relief. NBAA’s effort led to the inclusion of general aviation in crucial provisions of the CARES Act.
The new guidance provided by the Treasury Department recognizes the critical role general aviation air carriers play in the nation’s transportation system, and states that operators receiving less than $100 million of payroll assistance are not required to provide financial instruments to the government.
Air carriers receiving payroll support must meet minimum service requirements, limit any share buybacks, follow executive compensation limits and refrain from involuntary furloughs; however, the provision of financial instruments to the government as appropriate compensation is no longer required.
In a March 31 letter to Secretary Mnuchin, NBAA explained that initial guidance on the payroll support program presented challenges for general aviation businesses, as specific requirements were structured for the major scheduled airlines. Review the letter to Secretary Mnuchin. The additional guidance issued today responds directly to these concerns, and provides essential flexibility for general aviation air carriers seeking payroll support.
The Treasury Department noted that the majority of payroll support requests received from small air carriers are for less than $10 million, and that funds will be available promptly upon approval of their applications.
“We appreciate the significant efforts of Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Chao to understand the unique financial challenges of general aviation air carriers and provide additional flexibility while ensuring that taxpayers are properly compensated,” said NBAA President & CEO Ed Bolen. “These companies are often small and mid-sized businesses, which support jobs and economic investment in their local communities.”