Minnesota airports will get federal help to offset steep drop in traffic

People walk in a glass walkway.
People wear masks as they walk the skyway from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to the parking garages on March 17, 2020. The Federal Aviation Administration will provide Minnesota airports, including the Twin Cities airport, with $160 million.
Evan Frost | MPR News file

The federal government will provide nearly $160 million in aid to Minnesota airports hit by severe COVID-19-related drops in passenger traffic and revenue.

The money from the Federal Aviation Administration will be split among 97 airports.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will receive about $125 million. Airport spokesperson Patrick Hogan said the money is desperately needed.

“Our passenger numbers are down 95 percent,” he said. “Only 2 percent of our parking capacity is being taken by customers. A large number of our concessions are shut down. So, all the things we rely on to generate revenue to operate the airport are now not producing revenue.”

The FAA money can be used for debt payments, as well as payroll and other expenses. Hogan said he expects the airport will need additional financial help.

The St. Cloud Regional Airport will get $1.1 million; Rochester, $2.5 million; Duluth, $5.2 million.

Overall, airports around the country will share $10 billion in aid. The money will help keep the airports running and save some workers’ jobs.

Funding for Minnesota airports is viewable on an interactive map.