The Allegheny County Airport Authority Board has approved a budget that lowers rates and assumes that traffic will hold steady at Pittsburgh International Airport.
The $95.8 million operating budget will drop per passenger fees paid by airlines from the current $14.11 to $13.92. Authority spokesperson JoAnn Jenny said the decrease is a direct result of payments from CONSOL Energy, which has leased the rights to drill into the Marcellus shale under the airport.
Jenny notes the most recent per-passenger fee reductions comes on top of a 55-cent drop approved in July. The authority has lowered other fees as well. The landing fee was reduced from $3.08 per 1,000 pounds to $2.81, terminal space will drop from $140.41 per square foot to $138.82, and ramp fees were set at $218.38 per foot for 2014 compared to the current rate of $229.84.
“It’s a mater of keeping our cost competitive,” Jenny said.
Also approved Wednesday was a $41.5 million capital budget. Funding for that budget comes from federal and state grants, airport revenues, and Authority-issued debt.
“The airport authority is in the best financial situation it’s ever been in,” Jenny said. “We’ve been getting improved ratings from Moody’s and Fitch and S&P.”
The airport uses traffic estimates supplied by its user airlines to build the budget. Jenny said the projections are for 4.1 million passengers to pass through the airport in 2014.