RAA Applauds House Passage of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Washington, DC, March 2, 2021. Media contact: media@raa.org

Following Saturday’s passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, Regional Airline Association (RAA) President and CEO Faye Malarkey Black offered this statement: 

“RAA applauds the passage of this critical legislation helping American businesses, workers and families cope with harm from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and providing additional resources to speed up vaccine distribution across the country.  We are grateful the package includes $15 billion to airline employees and contractors to extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP) for a third time. We thank House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen (D-WA), and House Financial Service Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) for their leadership in authoring the extension. Every dollar of the PSP3 program will help support non-executive payroll, avoiding dramatic furloughs upon the expiration of the current program. By helping to keep workers trained and at the ready, regional airlines will be better positioned to support our country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge the Senate to quickly pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

While the RAA is very appreciative of the latest extension, we remain very concerned about the Department of Treasury’s administration of the PSP program, which has been characterized by a complete lack of communications with small air carriers who are awaiting their second PSP awards. Many of RAA’s small carriers have not heard from the Department in over a month about their applications, and they have no idea when their workforce assistance will arrive creating business uncertainty.  This is a notable departure from the Department’s approach under the CARES Act, where it prioritized awards to small air carriers because they viewed them as the most vulnerable to the financial impacts and disruptions caused by the pandemic. We hope that the Committee will urge the Department of Treasury to quickly process PSP2 awards before the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act by the Congress, and then process PSP3 awards before the end of March to help safeguard the financial health of small air carriers and their workforce in addition to the communities that depend on them for air service.

To read more about the concerns with the Department of Treasury’s administration of PSP, please see RAA’s statement for the record for the March 2nd hearing titled, “COVID-19’s Effects on U.S. Aviation and the Flight Path to Recovery.”

RAA thanks the House of Representatives for advancing this critical workforce aid and stands ready to work with the Department of Treasury to continue processing currently pending PSP2 applications to support the workforce of the nation’s smallest passenger air carriers.” 

About RAA  
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) provides a unified voice of advocacy for North American regional airlines aimed at promoting a safe, reliable and strong regional airline industry. RAA serves as an important support network connecting regional airlines and industry business partners. In the United States, regional airlines operate 40% of scheduled passenger flights and provide the only source of scheduled air service to 66% of the nation’s airports. Regional airlines provide 75% or more of the air service in Alabama (76%), Alaska (88%), Arkansas (83%), Idaho (75%), Iowa (76%), Kansas (78%), Maine (77%), Mississippi (77%), Montana (78%), Nebraska (90%), North Dakota (87%), South Dakota (85%), Vermont (77%), West Virginia (92%), and Wyoming (78%). Regional airlines provide half or more of the air service in Indiana (61%), Kentucky (67%), Michigan (57%), New Hampshire (61%), New Mexico (53%), North Carolina (54%), Ohio (58%), Oklahoma (51%), Oregon (50%), Pennsylvania (53%), Rhode Island (54%), South Carolina (54%), Tennessee (47%), Virginia (58%) and Wisconsin (61%).