AIRPORT AUTHORITY RESULTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS REPORT PRESENTED TO THE COMMUNITY
PITTSBURGH, PA (March 12, 2007) – The Allegheny County Airport Authority released a report to the community today on the results and achievements of the Airport Authority since its 1999 inception.
“The Allegheny County Airport Authority has enhanced operations, increased efficiencies and advanced marketing and business initiatives to the benefit of Pittsburgh International Airport, Allegheny County Airport and the region in general,” stated Glenn R. Mahone, Chairman, Allegheny County Airport Authority.
The move to form the Airport Authority was based on the understanding that, as an Authority, the management would be based on sound business principals and current aviation industry practices. In fact, during public proposals for the Authority’s formation, leaders of many of the airlines expressed a strong preference to deal with an Authority model of management as opposed to a county operation.
So on November 5, 1999, a new era began when the Allegheny County Airport Authority assumed administration of both Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airports from Allegheny County. The Airport Authority, governed by a nine-member board, oversees all aspects of airport operations including new development, environmental issues, airline and tenant management as well as airfield operations. Now, with the Authority’s first eight years of operation complete, Allegheny County can be proud of the transition and the Airport Authority’s commitment to provide superior service.
It is especially important to point out that no county tax dollars are used to maintain the airports. Funding for the airport comes from airlines operating at the airport in the form of rent and landing fees, along with revenues generated from parking, rental cars, concession revenues, and passenger facility fees.
Indicators of the Airport Authority’s success can be measured by:
OPERATING EFFICIENCIES AND CONTROLLING COSTS
- Refinancing airport debt has resulted in reducing debt service and savings in the millions for airlines operating here as well as improving our outlook with Rating Agencies.
- Cost controls in the form of bidding energy contracts, managing staffing levels and negotiating competitive service contracts has resulted in operating costs rising only 2% in the last several years.
- By ensuring that the Authority always has projects prepared and ready to be funded, the Airport Authority has successfully increased total grant revenue from federal and state funding sources, averaging nearly $24 million per year. The introduction of the Passenger Facility Charge in 2001 generates additional revenue averaging $21 million per year. Parking, Rental Car, the world class AIRMALL and other non-aviation operations have produced millions of dollars in revenues. These funds go directly toward lowering the cost of operation for airlines, keeping Pittsburgh International Airport competitive and attractive for airline expansion.
MORE NEW AIRLINES AND LOWER FARES
- In 2000, the average one-way fare to all destinations was nearly $192, one of the highest in the nation. TODAY, Pittsburgh International Airport is among the top US airports with the LOWEST fares. Our average fare is $140, well below the national average.
- New service from Low Cost Carriers such as AirTran, JetBlue and Southwest has attracted more than 360,000 additional passengers per year and has contributed more than $180 million in total economic impact.
- Pittsburgh International Airport Property Development has been advancing at a rate that was unheard of prior to the formation of the Authority. Coordinated funding efforts with state, county and private investments have resulted in shovel-ready land on airport property. Major development projects include: Airside Business Park. Industry Drive, Clinton Commerce Park Phase One, Cherrington Commerce, Northfield Phase One and Two, US Airways Operations Control Center and Route 30.
It is important to note that these results were achieved during challenges including two US Airways bankruptcies, which resulted in a significant decline in the airline’s service, along with the downgrade from a “fortress hub” to a “focus city”.
“These results clearly demonstrate that the Allegheny County Airport Authority has been a good steward to advancing and promoting both the Pittsburgh International Airport and the Allegheny County Airport. Both facilities are economic generators for the region, and their success and viability are directly related to the economic well-being of the region,” Mahone said.
A more comprehensive report on the Results and Accomplishments of the Allegheny County Airport Authority is available at www.FlyPittsburgh.com.