Dayton International Airport awarded $8.7 million in COVID-19 relief

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton City Commission approved millions of dollars in federal relief for the Dayton International Airport Wednesday night.

Dayton Airport officials say the number of passengers passing through the airport is back on the rise, but they’re still far off from pre-pandemic levels.

“When the pandemic happened, we lost quite a bit of revenue, and this is going to help us fill the gap toward our revenues,” Director of Aviation Gil Turner said.

Dayton will receive $8.7 million through the American Rescue Plan Act from the U.S. Department of Transporation.

$7.9 million will go to the Dayton International Airport. $59,000 will go to the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport. $700,000 will provide relief to airport concessions.

The money will be available to pull from for four years and will mostly go toward operating costs.

Turner said the funding will help bridge the gap as they wait for passenger levels to return to normal.

“We’re still not back to 2019 levels, we’re probably down about 40 percent, things are looking fairly good, traffic is picking up,” Turner said. “Very excited to see people come back earlier than we thought they’d come back.”

So far, the airport’s received around $26 million in aid since the pandemic started.

While federal funding is a big help, Turner said the best help they can get is when people choose to fly through the airport.

“Fly out of the local airport, and use airport as they use the Dayton airport, that’ll encourage the airlines to add more services, so we want people to think about always traveling out of the Dayton International Airport,” Turner said.

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