MISSOULA — Thanks to the Federal Coronavirus Economic Relief Plan or CARES Act passed by Congress, Missoula International Airport will receive more than $5.5 million to help offset lost revenue in recent weeks and for the remaining fiscal year.
Airport director, Cris Jensen, says an average of 1,200-1,300 passengers traveling in each direction pass through the airport this time of year, and right now that number is 50 to 70.
Revenue generated by the parking lot, gift shop, and restaurant has been all but completely lost. Jensen says this money will be used to cover debt, continue the ongoing airport project, and pay employees.
“It basically makes our budget whole, with the lost revenue, it was going to be tough for us," Jensen said." You know, obviously we were cutting to the bone everywhere we could like most people are in this current environment, and that still wasn’t really getting us where we needed to be.”
With the next fiscal year beginning July 1, Jensen says they’ll hold some of that money over as he anticipates a slow recovery as the country begins to gradually open back up.