ORLANDO, FL. – The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) Board considered several important issues at today’s monthly meeting. Due to COVID-19 directives regarding public meetings and social distancing, the meeting was held in a virtual forum.
A key concern during the downturn in the air travel industry is having solvent tenants that can resume normal operations when the health emergency ends. Domestic and international flights in and out of Orlando International Airport (MCO) have been dramatically impacted because of the global pandemic. Passenger traffic for the two week period from March 28-April 8 saw a 90 percent reduction compared to the same period in 2019.
The significant decrease is directly affecting three key revenue sources for the Aviation Authority: Airlines, In-Terminal Concessionaires and On-Site Rental Car Operators. To provide some financial relief, the Board approved a limited deferral of defined forms of revenue from specific sources for a finite time.
“It is in our view only the beginning of the discussion in working toward a solution for our airport and our airport partners,” said Phil Brown, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO. “This situation is unprecedented and it’s going to have to continue to be reviewed in order to make the best decision. This is just the first step in trying to provide some relief as we move forward.”
The Aviation Authority will defer approximately $17 million in specified payments due in May 2020. Further actions will be presented and considered at upcoming board meetings.
It was announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation that Orlando International Airport would receive $170 million from the CARES Act Airport Grant Program. The money is part of a $10 billion national outlay to 100 U.S. airports to help fund the continued operations of the nation’s airports.
“We are grateful to the Administration and Congress for these funds that will allow us to address the devastating impact of COVID-19 on operations at Orlando International and Orlando Executive airports,” said Phil Brown, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO. “Large, medium and small airports have all been dealt significant revenue impacts by this pandemic. As a result there has been a reduction of flights, passengers and business activities. This funding can be used for any lawful purpose including payroll, operations and maintenance as well as debt service.”
Orlando International received the second highest grant behind Miami International’s $207 million. Overall, Florida airports are scheduled to receive more than $896 million.
The Aviation Authority Board also elected its new officers for the current term. In order to maintain a continuity of leadership during a time of crisis, the Board voted to retain the current slate of officers. Domingo Sanchez will remain Chairman; Carson Good, Vice Chairman; Dr. Jason Pirozzolo, Treasurer; Phil Brown, Secretary; and Dayci Burnette-Snyder, Asst. Secretary.