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Critical Infrastructure News

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $8 billion in grants to keep U.S. airport workers employed, construction projects going and help U.S. airports recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding for the grants comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 President Biden signed into law on March 11, 2021.

“The Airport Rescue Grants keep workers employed and help the aviation sector recover as more Americans get vaccinated and begin traveling again,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These grants are part of the Administration’s commitment to build back a better and safer transportation system throughout our country.”

The funding provides economic relief to eligible commercial service, reliever, and general aviation airports. The money will help keep people safe and employed by reimbursing operational expenses, debt service payments, and costs related to combating the spread of pathogens at the airport. Airports can also use the money to provide rent relief to in-terminal retail and concession companies. The funding requires that airports continue to employ at least 90 percent of their pre-pandemic employees for those airports that cover a majority of the traveling public.

Read more: Security Mag

A new report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) shows that cybersecurity and cyber policies have moved to the forefront of the international landscape. And, despite a somewhat shaky 12 months, the United States remains the most “cyber-capable” nation, according to the think tank.

The U.S. was ranked as having the greatest cyber capabilities in over seven categories and is expected to remain atop the leaderboard for at least the next ten years because of the “likely durability of US digital-industrial superiority,” said the IISS report.

Meanwhile, China is the only country that the report deemed to be on the path to joining the first tier. The think tank believes that the future balance of cyber power will likely result from the U.S. restricting China’s access to Western technologies and China’s response. This power dynamic started in the early 2000s when the U.S. and several of its allies started to restrict China. IISS noted that this “partial decoupling” of the West and China points to potential obstacles in China’s path towards cyber power. Sanctions on China were made in response to China’s “malicious behavior” in cyberspace, which could explain why the country is only in the beginning development stages for cyber defenses and cyber-resilience policies for infrastructure.

Read more: HSToday