Procedure and Process for Receiving CARES Act Funding for Your Airport

Submitted by Sandra Shelton on Mon, 04/20/2020 - 5:16pm

Director of Aeronautics
State of Oklahoma

Dear Oklahoma Airport Community,

As you know, the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27th, includes $10 billion for airports across the country. Each airport in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) is eligible to receive a grant from this funding. As I have previously noted, this funding may be used for any lawful purpose consistent with the FAA Airport Revenue Use Policy. While this funding can be used for development or capital projects, the FAA is encouraging you to use these funds for operational expenses—payroll, debt service, utility bills, etc. related to your airport. I would also encourage you to use this CARES funding for that purpose. Given the impact of COVID-19 on airport revenues, this is, by and large, where you need immediate help. Using this funding for this purpose will also expedite your receipt of the grant funding slated for your airport.

Part of this money, $500 million, is for the purpose of making Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants that you are receiving in federal FY 2020 100% federal share. No local match will be required for AIP grants you are receiving in FY 2020 from FY 2020 appropriations. You don’t need to do anything to ensure the 100% federal share. This provision will not apply to grants funded by appropriations before FY 2020. If you have carried over (commonly referred to as “banked”) funding from previous years and are taking a grant this year, they will be funded at 100% because they are being funded from FY 2020 appropriations. If you are initiating a multi-year project this year, it will all be funded at 100% so long as this $500M CARES airport funding is available (once this particular funding runs out, it would be the usual 90/10 proposition).  This funding is intended to alleviate the sponsor match for those airports who had already planned on taking a FY 2020 grant, it is not intended for new or pop-up project requests because airports are now seeing 100% funding being available.   

As I have previously noted, the CARES grant amount for commercial service airports is determined by the formulas set forth in the CARES Act. OKC Will Rogers, Tulsa International, Lawton-Ft. Sill, and Stillwater are eligible for these grants. The grant amount for general aviation airports is determined by the classification of your airport in the FAA Asset Study. CARES airport grants are 100% federal share, no local match is required.  GA airports in the NPIAS are eligible to receive CARES grants amounts as follows:

National         $157,000
Regional         $69,000
Local               $30,000
Basic               $20,000
Unclassified    $1,000


You will receive a pre-filled out simplified application, OMB Form 424, from the FAA Arkansas/Oklahoma Airports District Office (ADO) this week. Signing this will be simplified compared to the standard FAA grant process.  Once you receive the document, just print, sign, and date it and send a scanned version back via email.  I would encourage you to expedite your consideration of this application, get it signed and back to our ADO consistent with your local government process applicable to such applications. I would encourage you to expedite your local application process as much as possible.

If you are using the CARES funding for operations, as noted above, this will be an expedited, streamlined process in order to get your grant out to you as quickly as possible. This is consistent with the purpose of this CARES funding—to get this much-needed relief to you due to your airport revenue being dramatically reduced due to the impact of COVID-19.

If you want to use the money for a development project, the process will be more like an AIP grant and there will be more requirements similar to the regular AIP grant. If this is your desire, please communicate with your FAA Program Manager, or Glenn Boles as soon as possible.

Once your application is submitted, your grant offer will be sent to you by email very quickly. The offer will need to be signed by an official having the responsibility to sign such documents and bind your local government, and your attorney. Signing this will be simplified just like a docusign proposition that many of you may have done. You may send the grant offer back by email.


If you are using your funding for operations expenses, the FAA is encouraging you to draw down in one swoop. Inform the FAA of what you spent the money for and request your money. Ensure that you spent the money on an item(s) eligible under the FAA Airport Revenue Use Policy. You must incur the expenses before you draw down from your CARES grant for the expense. Please keep documentation and receipts for your expenses as CARES Act funding will get audited. These expenses must occur on or after January 20, 2020.

The FAA has prepared some FAQs regarding the CARES Act airport funding that can be found here.