The Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) Board of Directors today approved a $37 million operating and capital budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, which begins October 1, 2010. This is a decrease of $7.6 million or 17.1% from FY2010 due almost entirely to lower capital spending, which fluctuates each year based on needs and availability of grant funding. The budget includes a reduction in the landing fee rate at Tucson International Airport (TIA) to $1.35 per thousand pounds of landed weight from the current rate of $1.55, primarily as a result of higher revenues combined with holding the line on expenses, and an expected 2.4% increase in landed weights.
"TAA is continuing its focus on keeping airline operating costs low at Tucson International Airport in order to encourage the lowest airline ticket prices possible for our customers," explained TAA President/CEO Bonnie Allin. "The reduced rate is the result not only of TAA staff maintaining tight control of expenses but also an improving revenue picture and a forecasted increase in landed weights by the airlines. We are hopeful the increased landed weight projection is an indication that the worst of the nation's economic problems are behind us and that the aviation industry will once again see the profitable growth opportunities that exist in markets like Tucson."
Operating revenues are projected to increase $2.5 million or 6.3% over FY2010, excluding signatory landing fee revenue, which is reflecting a decrease of $322,707.
Concession revenues are projected to increase $1.5 million or 9.9% based on the trend of better than expected results in FY2010 in most concession categories including rental cars, parking, news and gifts and food and beverage. Parking revenue is budgeted to increase more than $712,000 while rental car revenue is estimated to increase nearly $579,000.
"TAA staff worked exceptionally hard in preparing this budget to keep costs in check while making sure that those items critical to providing essential safety, security and customer services were maintained. At the same time, we are striving to efficiently and cost effectively maintain airport facilities and infrastructure in optimum condition and to prevent more extensive remedial work in the future," said Ms. Allin. "As a result of these efforts, operating expenses are budgeted to increase by only $219,485 or 0.7% from FY2010."
The FY2011 Capital Improvement Program, totaling approximately $6 million, includes a variety of projects at both TIA and Ryan Airfield. Federal and state grants are expected to cover approximately $2.7 million of the total cost of the program. The focus of the capital plan this fiscal year is on maintaining existing facilities and enhancing security and safety.
At TIA, projects include relocation of the Emergency Operations Center and Communications Dispatch Center, seal coating Runway 11R/29L and connecting taxiways, and replacement of the 800 MHZ two-way radio systems for TAA's police, fire and operations departments.
At Ryan Airfield, projects include backup power for airfield lighting, the aircraft apron, fuel farm and maintenance yard.