ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITY CREDIT RATING FOR PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS UPGRADED BY FITCH RATINGS
- Credit Rating was also recently raised by Moody’s on revenue bonds for Pittsburgh International Airport
PITTSBURGH, PA (August 7, 2013) – The Allegheny County Airport Authority’s bond rating has been raised by Fitch Ratings of New York to A- from BBB+, reflecting a long-term improved and stable financial outlook. In May, Moody's Investors Services upgraded to A3 from Baa1 the rating of the Allegheny County Airport Authority's Airport Revenue Bonds. The outlook on all bonds is stable.
“This is great news for the Allegheny County Airport Authority. It demonstrates that despite the numerous challenges Pittsburgh International Airport has faced, that the Airport Authority has acted in a fiscally responsible fashion to ensure long term success for one of our region’s most important assets,” stated Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
“I think this is a successful result based upon recent events such as the lease agreement for gas drilling at the airport. The ratings agency recognized that Pittsburgh has been successful in converting from a hub to a market where most begin and end their trips here,” said David Minnotte, Chairman, Allegheny County Airport Authority.
The higher bond rating is a result of the Authority’s new lease agreement with CONSOL Energy for oil and gas drilling rights on airport property. The authority has received an upfront bonus payment of $46.3 million that has reduced airport fees. In addition, the authority will receive monthly royalty payments once drilling operations begin in mid-2014.
Fitch also noted that the airport’s competitive position will continue improving as debt service payments decline through 2019. “The diverse share of carriers serving the airport, along with the origination and destination of passenger base should limit traffic volatility going forward,” the report stated.