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Washington airports to receive $310 million in federal aid

Federal officials announced Tuesday that Washington airports will receive $310.32 million in aid in response to the coronavirus emergency.

Federal officials announced Tuesday that Washington airports will receive $310.32 million in aid in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.

The grant funding will be dispersed between 62 airports across the state.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said in a press release the funding is part of the CARES Act that was signed into law by President Trump.

The funding is intended to support operations and replace funding lost due to the decline in passenger traffic from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sea-Tac International Airport will receive $192.12 million in funding, according to an interactive map. Boeing Field will receive $18 million, and Paine Field in Everett will receive $157,000.

Sea-Tac Airport Aviation Director Lance Lyttle says the money will go a long way. 

"To give you an idea, this time of the year we typically have 54,000 people coming through our checkpoints, yesterday we had approximately 2,500 people,” said Lyttle. 

There are restrictions on what the money can be used for, but the majority will go to operations and maintenance, including payroll and staffing. The money can also be use for airport debt payments. 

There are conditions with the grants, one of which is that the airport has to maintain 90% of its staff through the end of the year. 

Lyttle expects the funding to be available next week. He says the airport will not receive a lump sum check, instead the airport will have to submit invoices. The grants will work as a form of reimbursement.

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