Airport receives over a million dollars to compensate for pandemic losses

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 6:59 PM EST
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Presque Isle International Airport is one of 31 Maine airports receiving funding through the Covid-19 package signed earlier this winter, that awarded the state $9.7 million dollars to help alleviate financial pressures as a result of the pandemic.

Airport Director Scott Wardwell says the Presque Isle facility will get just over a million dollars, with funds used to keep workers employed, cover operating expenses, and to help cover debt service obligations.

“The moneys that we use to run the facilities are actually garnered from user fees, things like paid parking, passenger facility charges, the selling of fuel, that kind of thing. But with Covid-19, there’s been a big downturn - about 60 percent of the passengers that would normally fly don’t fly. And that’s - that’s pretty much the average across the United States and pretty much what we’ve seen here in Presque Isle. But when you don’t have people flying, they’re not - they’re not renting cars, they’re not parking at the airport, the airlines and also the private jets are buying less fuel. So that adds up to a lot less revenue,” says Scott Wardwell, Director of the Presque Isle International Airport.

Three other County airports will also receive funding. Houlton International Airport has been awarded $13,000, while Caribou Municipal Airport and Northern Aroostook Regional Airport in Frenchville will each receive $9,000. Senator Susan Collins, ranking member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, co-led the bipartisan group that negotiated the package.

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