The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) says it has been working to provide resources to help its members since the national emergency declaration in the US on 13 March and campaigned to urge the US congress to provide short-term help to the maintenance industry.
The campaign has yielded significant results, the association says. Responding to the aviation maintenance sector’s pleas for economic assistance due to air travel disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the US senate and house passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act last week which directs specific relief to repair stations and their employees.
The relief legislation contains several provisions aimed at providing aircraft maintainers with liquidity to avoid layoffs, the association explains. Section 4003(b)(1) of the bill sets aside $25 billion for loans to repair stations, airlines and ticket agents.
In addition, aviation maintenance companies located at airports and performing work for air carriers should also be able to benefit from a $3 billion financial assistance programme for airline contractors and subcontractors.
The maintenance industry relief campaign on Capitol Hill was led by senators Jim Inhofe and Tammy Duckworth. “While ARSA is grateful to all the members of congress and staffers who’ve worked tirelessly in recent weeks to craft the bill, senators Inhofe and Duckworth deserve special recognition,” ARSA executive vice president Christian A. Klein said.
“Thanks to them, there are 250,000 men and women working in the maintenance sector – including 12,000 employees in Oklahoma and 7,000 in Illinois – who can rest a little bit easier knowing that financial help to keep their companies afloat is on the way.”
Once President Trump signs the bill, the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration must then implement the business relief provisions.
The association provides coronavirus continuous updates and resources on its anti-viral webpage at arsa.org/anti-viral-measures.