1 FEBRUARY 2021
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The UK Government has finally opened a support scheme for commercial airports and ground handlers who have been financially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Applications must be made by 21 February and are worth up to £8m each.
This has been welcomed by the Airport Operators Association (AOA) and in particular the Regional and Business Airport Group (RABA) which represents 42 of the UK’s smaller airports, largely privately run and without the resources of the larger operators.
The intervention brings airports in England in line with support packages that the devolved government’s Scotland and Northern Ireland, have already provided to their airports.
Welcoming the announcement, Neil Pakey, chair of RABA explained: “Our members have faced maintaining operations, often for essential economic or public service rather than commercial reasons (e.g. emergency and lifeline services, medical repatriation and air freight of PPE and now vaccines to tackle Covid), since the pandemic struck. Smaller airports' balance sheets are typically far less financially robust than their larger counterparts. This has meant that they have been particularly badly affected by a slow-down in business which in many cases has resulted in the loss of between 65-95% of revenues, and also that they have not been able to access the generic loans that the Government has offered during the crisis.”
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