Airport operations and expectations were upended by the swift and nearly complete grounding of air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring. With a full recovery predicted to take years, Anderson & Kreiger is guiding airports through their immediate and long-term challenges.
Legal Insights Into Airports’ Business Path Ahead
When the pandemic hit, our clients’ focus turned immediately to addressing novel questions on revenue use, operational impacts and business issues: How can we protect our development projects and keep them on track? Can the airport help cover the cost of employees’ COVID-19 testing? How do we accommodate cargo and other alternative lines of business as passenger business ramps back up?
To position clients on the trajectory of recovery, we are providing experience-backed, proactive counsel to manage airports’ critical pressure points, including:
- Airline Rates and Charges
Addressing pandemic-created complexities in new agreements and negotiating amendments and extensions to current agreements, where necessary. We also working with airports with agreements expiring in 2021 and 2022 to prepare for negotiations in a changed financial and contracting landscape.
- Capital Development Projects
Revisiting premises of existing multiyear programs and exploring increased flexibility and shifts in funding paradigms.
- Concession Agreements
Advising on rent abatement programs for concessionaires and their interplay with ACDBE and revenue use obligations.
- Airport Access and Usage
Reviewing federal and state guidelines and questions of control of access to airports, including the scope of the role of public health agencies, emergency use of airports, and COVID-19 testing in airport facilities.
- CARES Act Funding
Guiding airports’ access to CARES Act funds and regulatory compliant uses.
For more information, please see:
April 12, 2020 – CARES Act Minimum Service Requirements: A Brief Guide for Airports
- Credit, Bankruptcy, and Insolvency Guidance
Providing resources on insolvency and other financial issues tailored to airports’ unique concerns, including protecting airports’ credit profiles and connecting airports to the appropriate resources to mitigate the negative impacts of tenants’ bankruptcies.
A Long Haul Approach
The health pandemic — like the industry crisis it has triggered— is new to everyone. Certain and clear government guidance is limited. To counter ongoing uncertainty, we offer deeper insights built on decades of experience working with our airport clients, the FAA and other airport stakeholders.
Our airport teams are leveraging their collective understanding of the FAA, longtime agency and government relationships, and all the financial levers available in the business of airports. We are helping several airports with workforce reductions and the interplay with labor union agreements. Increasingly, clients require guidance on newly vacant spaces, including Customs and Immigration areas, measures to reduce variable costs, force majeure clauses, and other business protections. In addition, we stay current with industry initiatives, such as pushes for tax relief and government support, through our ongoing counsel and involvement with ACI-NA and other airport trade groups.