NAPITA Issues Statement on Heroes Act, Continues to Seek Initial Access to Federal Assistance as COVID Devastates Industry

May 18, 2020

The Near Airport Parking Industry Trade Association (NAPITA), an association of national parking operators dedicated to providing dependable and affordable travel options that improve the customer experience at major American airports, issued the below statement following House-passage of H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act, phase IV of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic:

“NAPITA is fighting for our lives and continues to seek desperately needed relief and immediate liquidity from the federal programs specifically purposed in helping companies like ours—those that have been most impacted by COVID-19. You would be hard-pressed to find an industry that matches more closely with the precipitous revenue and demand cliff that airlines have tumbled over; no one on planes means no one parking at our lots. However, our national operators have continued to fall through the cracks, and we are disheartened to see yet another massive aid package that is again lacking in assistance for our larger members and does not provide immediate liquidity relief for an industry in dire need. NAPITA’s member companies pride ourselves in the service we provide our shared customers with airlines and airports and the family we build for our employees. We will continue to advocate for assistance that allows us to continue doing both.”

The near-airport parking industry is entirely reliant on air travel, which has been completely decimated by COVID-19; NAPTIA’s operators across the country have seen more than a 95% drop in revenues. Some have even seen revenues fall to zero. Additionally, the industry’s national operators, who combined employ roughly 5,000, have had to make the incredibly difficult decisions to lay off or furlough 90% of their workforce while closing a number of their parking facilities at 61 major airports because they remain unable to access federal relief purposed in providing a lifeline to the businesses hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

Signed into law on March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided essential assistance to employees and various industries impacted by COVID-19. However, the law and the regulations promulgated from it actually put the small number of national near-airport parking companies in an even more precarious situation by boxing them out of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) due to number of employees and limiting access to the Main Street Lending Program by relying on calculations that make little sense for asset-based, real estate borrowers like NAPITA’s members.

While the Heroes Act, passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives, included nearly $3 trillion in coronavirus response aid, it did not include any of the necessary changes that would allow NAPITA national operators to participate fully in either the PPP or the Main Street Lending Program.

At the same time, the CARES Act provided direct appropriations to America’s airports to stay afloat during this significant and unprecedented downturn in travel. NAPITA’s members complement and in nearly all cases compete directly with airports for parking customers, and airports are requiring near-airport parking operators to continue to pay access and permitting fees without any relief, further jeopardizing the ability for the industry to stay afloat. Without access to any federal loan or grant programs or leniency from airport partners, the near-airport parking industry will not survive the pandemic.

NAPITA is not one company looking out for merely its best economic interests—it is an industry representing more than 12,000 employees and millions of customers who depend on ground transportation and world-class airport facilities to work, travel, and live. Each year, the industry sees approximately 12 million parking visits nationwide, which equates to serving nearly 25 million individual travelers. NAPITA’s mission is to partner with airports and other stakeholders in the aviation industry to ensure safe, efficient, and equitable access to their airport curb for off-airport parking operators and to increase the role ground transportation plays in the broader air travel industry and the overall experience for air travelers.

NAPITA will continue to advocate for the industry and the vital role it plays within the broader aviation ecosystem.