In response to the unexpected and steep decline in passenger traffic at Miami International Airport due to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, on April 7, 2020, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez’s $64.8 million relief plan for the County’s business partners at MIA.
The relief plan will provide financial assistance to airlines, concessionaires, car rental companies, cargo handlers, fixed base operators, general aeronautical service permittees, and any other tenant in the County’s airport system currently in financial distress. The plan will also require those receiving any assistance to provide similar relief to their subtenants and/or subcontractors.
“This plan will provide some immediate relief for our business partners at MIA, which has seen its passenger traffic fall by 90 percent and most of its concession locations close since March, due to an unprecedented downturn in air travel worldwide and global travel restrictions,” said Mayor Gimenez. “Airport partners affected include many local small businesses. As Miami-Dade County’s largest economic engine that supports one out of every five jobs in our community, MIA and its business partners are crucial to helping our residents weather the financial storm of this deadly disease.”
The plan features an initial term of three months retroactive from March 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020 for a grand total of $64,809,000, and authority to extend for an additional three months. During the term, the plan provides three forms of relief: deferral of monthly rent payments and other related charges for passenger and cargo airlines and ancillary businesses, with interest charged on deferrals extending beyond MIA’s annual reporting period; waiver of minimum annual guarantee (MAG) monthly payments, monthly rent and other related fees for operators contracted to pay rent, MAG and a percentage fee, while still requiring such operators to make payments based on a percentage of gross revenues; and for all other concessionaires, car rental companies and operators, waiver of the MAG monthly payments and other related fees, while still requiring payments based on a percentage of gross revenues.
“In addition to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently passed by Congress that provides $10 billion in funding to airports and $58 billion in loans and loan guarantees to airlines other aviation-related businesses, the relief plan for MIA’s tenants will provide a bridge of support until the negative effects of COVID-19 subside and federal funds are made available,” said Rebeca Sosa, Chairwoman of Miami-Dade County’s Tourism and the Ports Committee and the relief plan’s prime sponsor.
MIA is one of many airports worldwide that has prepared a Relief Plan for its business partners to weather this economic downturn due to COVID-19.
“The Aviation Department believes these steps are vitally necessary to mitigate the financial difficulties our airport partners are facing, and to help our airport community have a faster rebound once this crisis is behind us,” said Lester Sola, Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) Director and CEO. “MIA’s portion of the relief package approved by Congress may also include a percentage that can be used to pay back MDAD for the amounts waived to the concessionaires.”