Alexandria, Va. (April 23, 2020) – This evening, the US House of Representatives approved H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a nearly $500 billion interim relief bill aimed at replenishing program funding established under the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The US Senate had unanimously passed the bill late Tuesday. President Donald Trump is expected to quickly sign it into law.
“We appreciate the speed and bipartisanship demonstrated by Congress and the president in producing this fourth round of financial assistance,” says James Viola, president and CEO of Helicopter Association International (HAI). “The largest part of our membership is made up of small businesses. Like most small businesses around the world, they are suffering from the effects of the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
HAI understands additional financial support is forthcoming from the federal government. “We look forward to working with Congress on much-needed additional funding in the fifth economic stimulus package as the rotorcraft industry offers an invaluable service to critical industries that span from agriculture to construction,” says Cade Clark, vice president of government affairs for HAI. “Vertical lift capability enables our aircraft to operate from nearly anywhere to support the movement of people, supplies, and essential services. Rotorcraft also provide this nation with a unique, highly adaptable tool for critical lifesaving missions conducted by law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical services.”
The US Small Business Administration has not been able to process new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance due to a lapse in funding provided in the CARES Act. Monies authorized by the bill passed today will permit new applications to go forward. Here are some of the bill’s provisions that will support HAI members in the United States:
- $310 billion in additional funds to support the Paycheck Protection Program, while also creating a $60 billion set-aside to support loans issued by smaller lenders
- $50 billion for the Disaster Loans Program
- $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants
- $75 billion for hospitals
- $25 billion for virus testing.
“For updates, HAI members should continue to access the members-only Legislative Action Center at rotor.org/LAC,” adds Clark. “We are also posting relevant information for the global HAI membership at rotor.org/COVID.”
HAI is the professional trade association for the international helicopter industry. HAI members represent more than 3,000 aviation businesses and individuals who safely operate more than 4,500 helicopters approximately 2.3 million hours each year in more than 73 nations. HAI is dedicated to the promotion of the helicopter as a safe, effective method of commerce and to the advancement of the international helicopter community.