The Merced Regional Airport will receive $16,885,618 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a result of the CARES Act.

In total, the CARES Act allocated $10 billion in funds to provide economic relief for airports around the country. Pres. Donald Trump signed the CARES Act, also known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, into law on March 27.

“Our aviation industry is just one of many suffering profound economic losses during this health crisis,” said Congressman Jim Costa. “These grants will help make up for the reduction in business operations and help keep workers from losing their jobs.”

“We want to thank Rep. Jim Costa, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Kamala Harris for helping securing this funding during these difficult times,” said Mayor Mike Murphy. “We will put this money to good use while operating and managing our airport.”

“This grant will put many local residents to work as we move out of the current crisis,” he said.

“This funding will not only help the Airport, but also local businesses that will be providing goods and services for the projects that will improve our facility,” said Economic Development Director Frank Quintero, who oversees the Airport’s operations.

Airport Manager Martin Pehl said, “This grant will greatly assist the Airport, and its operations, and benefit the public and the aviation community.”

Pehl said among the projects the grant would be used for include refurbishing  the terminal building and parking lot, improving the runway and taxiway and addressing other parts of the airport’s master plan.

The CARES Act is a more than $2 trillion economic relief package, with $10 billion allocated for airport improvement grants. The grants will provide economic relief to airports around the country affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said, “This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs.”