In March 2020, Congress enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to address the public health and economic threats posed by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic (COVID-19). Of the $2.2 trillion appropriated by the CARES Act, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) received $10 billion in emergency funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. As of September 2021, the Agency had obligated approximately $9.7 billion of those funds, with about $163 million going to airport development projects.
Given the weaknesses in FAA’s oversight of airport development projects we’ve previously identified, as well as the oversight challenges associated with the large amounts and rapid disbursements of CARES Act funds, we are initiating this audit. Our objectives will be to evaluate FAA’s processes for: (1) awarding and administering CARES Act–funded airport development grants and (2) overseeing associated recipient contracts to ensure compliance with Federal and Agency grant and procurement requirements.