NATA Releases White Paper on Recommended Practices for Airport Sponsors and Commercial Aviation Businesses in Addressing Leasehold Issues in Response to COVID-19

April 13, 2020

Today, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) released a white paper titled Recommended Practices for Airport Sponsors and Commercial Aviation Businesses in Addressing Leasehold Issues in Response to COVID-19. In the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency, airports and commercial aeronautical businesses, along with the entire global aviation industry, are confronted with operational revenue challenges, issues with employee job retention, and financial uncertainty at a level the industry has never experienced. Worldwide, COVID-19 has resulted in international and domestic commercial air carrier and private general aviation travel restrictions that have caused significant financial harm to airports, the industry’s 3,661 FBOs, MROs, and other essential aeronautical service providers.

NATA recognizes that a majority of airport sponsors are public agencies that have both the challenge to maintain self-sustaining operations, as well as complex revenue streams intended to preserve the valuable services and jobs that the airport and aviation industry provides to their communities.

The Association encourages efforts to establish or continue fostering collaborative approaches and solutions between airport sponsors and their commercial aeronautical tenants in addressing these challenges, including initiating open discussions regarding rent and other fee relief options during the coronavirus pandemic.To that end, NATA’s white paper is intended as a guide for both airports and commercial aeronautical businesses (including airlines) to use when considering financial and operational accommodations.

“During these challenging times, it is imperative for commercial aeronautical businesses and airports to continue to promote dialogue, develop insights into each other’s perspectives, and to work to agree on uniform rapid relief programs that help airport tenants that are undergoing financial hardships during this unforeseen crisis. NATA is pleased to provide this white paper as a tool that both airports and their tenants/subtenants can use as a guide for conversations on financial and operational accommodations that are in line with current federal regulations. Uniform financial assistance is critical for continuity of airports and their important stakeholders,” stated NATA President and CEO Timothy Obitts.

“On behalf of NATA’s Board of Directors, we are pleased that NATA continues to provide resources that foster communication and collaboration between airports and commercial aviation businesses. We hope this guide provides benefits now and serves as a roadmap for the future,” stated NATA Board Chairman Curt Castagna.

“We urge airport sponsors and tenant businesses to work together to determine the best path forward for each community to continue to allow the airport to act as a base of recovery and their tenant businesses to provide valuable services and serve as pipelines for employment,” added Obitts.

NATA would like to thank the following for their contributions: Peter Kirsch, Attorney, Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell; Curt Castagna, President & CEO, Aeroplex Group Partners; and Jeff A. Kohlman, Managing Principal, Aviation Management Consulting Group (AMCG).