Close to $20 million is headed to southern Idaho airports to help their operations during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced $44,196,705 is being allocated to Idaho airports as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program; Magic Valley airports, including Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, will get $19,749,860 of that.

Broken down, the Hailey airport in Blaine County will get the largest share in the area of $18,776,130, according to DOT. Blaine County was the first and hardest hit areas by COVID-19 in Idaho. Twin Falls airport Joslin Field will get $1,193,730 of the grant. The airports in Burley, Jerome, and Gooding will each receive $30,000. Buhl's airport will get $20,000. Jackpot's airport, on the Nevada/Idaho boarder, will also get $20,000.

The grants will help these and other airports with continued operations as airports have lost revenue due to declining passenger travel because of COVID-19. Funds are intended for capital expenditures, airport operating expenses which include payroll and utilities, and debt payments.

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