San Diego International Airport gets $91 million in federal emergency money

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Like a lot of familiar places in our world, the San Diego International Airport has an empty and spooky feeling about it these days. As you pull in, you instantly notice the dramatic difference. Virtually no loved ones or taxis at curbside parking. No shuttles or rental cars moving people around. These days, the number of workers in bigger than the number of passengers.

“You know, according to the TSA the number of passengers going through the security check points here in San Diego is down 95-percent, 95-percent? Yes, 95-percent,” says Nicole Hall with the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

Not since 9-11 has the business of air travel been hit so hard. Airlines and airports are losing millions a day and there’s no end it sight. Fortunately, there is Federal Emergency Relief available for airports around the country to keep the planes flying. San Diego’s “Lindbergh Field” is one of those airports.

“San Diego will be getting $91-million dollars and we couldn’t be more grateful. We are so fortunate to be getting this emergency relief money from the Federal Government This money will help cover expenses we have everyday and the money will be used to reimburse the airport for those expenses we simply can’t cover right now,” says Hall of the Airport Authority.

In the case of San Diego, the Airport Authority gets no tax money from the City or the County. Much of the operating revenue comes from a variety of ‘fees’ charged to the airlines, rental car companies, parking and concessions. Considering all of those things have essentially come to a halt, the money is no longer there.

“It’s not knowing that’s the hardest part. We don’t know how long this will last. The Federal Emergency money will cover a lot of necessary things, but we don’t know how long this is going to last. The truth is, we may actually need more if this keeps going,” says Hall.

Even though it’s a lonely place these days, make no mistake. The airport in San Diego is considered “essential” and remains fully functional. Forget about that breakfast sandwich and Mocha Choca Latte at Starbucks however. It’s closed. As of this moment, the only concession standing in Terminal One is Jack. As in, The Box. How about a Breakfast Jack and a black coffee instead?

Categories: Coronavirus, Local San Diego News