The government’s long-awaited airport support scheme for airports in England has opened for applications.
Airports can stake their claim for grants worth up to £8 million per airport; the scheme was announced last November and detailed by aviation and maritime minister Robert Courts earlier this month.
Then, Courts said the government would aim to provide grants from the fund by the end of the year.
Pilots union Balpa, though, said the initiative didn’t go anywhere near far enough.
The Airport Operators Association, meanwhile, said airports were running on empty, and would need extra financial support to cover a range of expenses if they were to be able to continue operating.
"The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme is now open for applications, which will give a boost to airports and ground handlers across England," said Courts on Friday (29 January) in a tweet.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps added: "The Airport Support Scheme is now LIVE! Airports and ground handlers across England can apply for up to £8 million of financial support from today – apply here!"
The Department for Transport said the scheme had been set up to support commercial airports and ground handlers in England "in recognition of their fixed costs and the impacts of Covid-19 on their revenue".
Applications must be logged via gov.uk by 21 February, the DfT confirmed on Friday.
Grant monies can be used to cover a narrow range of expenses, including airfield policing or security operations, air traffic control and fire service costs, as well as costs incurred by law and essential to the operation of an airport.
The full scope of how grants can be spent is available from the DfT.