ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITY BUDGET PROPOSAL FORECASTS INCREASE IN PASSENGER TRAFFIC FOR 2011
- Average Cost Per Enplaned Passenger reduced 3% over current rate
PITTSBURGH, PA (October 8, 2010) – The Allegheny County Airport Authority’s proposed $91.7 million operating budget includes an expectation of 4.15 million enplaned passengers in 2011 compared to 3.9 million in 2010, a 6.41 % increase. This is the first assumed passenger increase since 2001. The Airport Authority also expects to receive $12.4 million in 2011 from the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development & Tourism Fund.
This budget funds the operations of Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin. Both airports are 100 percent self-sustaining and receive no local tax dollars for funding.
“We are fortunate to be able to look ahead to 2011 with a positive forecast. In recent months our passenger numbers have increased. Many of our carriers are adding more flights. Our fares are very competitive and financial rating agencies’ reports have been positive,” said Glenn R. Mahone, Chairman, Allegheny County Airport Authority.
Airlines at Pittsburgh International Airport provide passenger estimates to the Airport Authority as part of the budget planning process. The increase proposed in 2011 is due to more people choosing to fly, an improved economy and the development of a stable and successful origination and destination passenger base.
As a result, the proposed average cost per enplaned passenger is $14.80, a 44-cent reduction or a 3% decrease vs.2010. The average cost per enplaned passenger is a general calculation of airport operating expenses and debt service less non-airline revenues divided by enplaned passengers. Each airline’s individual cost per enplaned passenger could be higher or lower than this average number based on each airline’s passenger counts, the amount of space leased and aircraft operations.
Annual debt service on the construction of the Midfield Terminal is $62.1 million. In May 2011, the Authority will look forward to only seven years left of long term debt totaling $484.6 million, an important factor noted in reports of positive ratings from Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
Much of the operating budget is based on aviation safety and security, regulatory issues as well as customer service. The Airport Authority estimates that $7 million of the 2011 operating and maintenance budget is directly related to services that were once provided by the airlines, including the baggage system, the flight information systems, jet way maintenance, ramp snow removal, facility maintenance and common use kiosks. Many of the costs are also related to meeting federal regulations that are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.