Tampa International Airport gets $80 million to keep employees on the payroll

Tampa International Airport is set to receive just over $80 million from the federal government.

Airport officials say business is down as much as 95%, across the board, including passengers, concessions, and parking fees. 

Typically at this time of year the airport would see about 80,000 people a day. Right now, it’s 3,000 or less.

”Tampa International Airport is our lifeblood. It’s one of our primary economic engines, more importantly, it employees a lot of neighbors,” said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor.

The federal funds -- part of the $2 trillion CARES ACT signed into law by President Trump -- are partly intended to help keep those employees on the airport's payroll.

“This $81 million is intended to help keep employees at work. Most of the money will be used to pay employees of Tampa airport through the end of the year,” said Rep. Castor. “They need to remain on task, keep our airport in great shape. They're an essential service. They need to stay on the job.”

Airport officials say, despite the slowdown, work on the current phase of construction will continue. They expect airport growth will continue once concerns about the virus diminish.

“We know it’s the best airport in the entire world. It is largely because of the employees that work there. Thank goodness today they have a lifeline,” said Rep. Castor.

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