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After day-long meeting, the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night approved the recommendation of staff at Miami International Airport (MIA) to offer its business partners relief and deferrals of payments for three months, totaling $64.8 million.

As with other airports, MIA’s traffic has declined dramatically as COVID-19 has spread across the country. There had been discussion leading into the meeting over whether the relief should be tied to tenants either keeping workers employed or paying their health insurance should they be laid off. But the board ultimately did not add any such requirements to its relief plan.

The plan consists of a three-pronged approach designed to provide short-term relief to all of its business partners. The plan:

  • Defers monthly rent payments and other related charges for passenger and cargo airlines and all ancillary businesses with such expenses retroactive to March 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020 in the total amount of just under $10.2 million per month.
  • Waives minimum annual guarantee (MAG) payments, rent and other related fees for duty-free stores and any other concessions operators contracted to pay MAG monthly payments as well as monthly rent. The waivers will be retroactive to March 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020, with MAG totaling $3.1 million and rent totaling $727,000 per month. Concessionaires will continue to pay assigned concession category percentage fee of gross revenues in lieu of MAG and rent for the period.
  • Waives MAG monthly payments and other related fees for all other concessionaires, car rentals and operators with such MAG payments for the same period, totaling nearly $7.6 million per month. These operators will continue to pay the assigned category percentage fee of gross revenues for the same period.

The waivers and deferrals total just over $21.6 million per month, or just over $64.8 million, for the initial three-month term. Sergio San Miguel, chief financial officer for the Miami Dade Aviation Department, will oversee implementation of the relief plan, which will be funded by airport revenues.

“Similar to other large international gateways, the negative fiscal impact to MIA has been abrupt as airlines and airport tenants grapple with a steep drop-off in business revenues due to an 80 percent decline in passenger traffic,” according to board documents. “Consequently, over 90 percent of MIA’s concession stores have closed.”

Some sit-down restaurants have elected to continue operating, but are limited to 50 percent of seating capacity due to social distancing guidelines. The airport’s hotel is currently operating at 10 percent capacity and cargo volumes are shrinking.

“The overall impact of this deteriorating economic condition has translated into the layoff of hundreds of contract workers at MIA,” according to the document, adding that the hope is that such relief “would serve as a bridge of hope until the negative effects of COVID-19 subside and federal funds are made available by way of the CARES Act.”