Tucson Airport Board Approves Budget

Air Service Incentive
Sep 14, 2011 06:59 AM

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The Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) Board of Directors has approved a $43.5 million operating and capital budget for fiscal year 2012, which begins Oct. 1, 2011. This is an increase of approximately $6.5 million, or just under 18 percent from fiscal year 2011, TAA said. The board also approved TAA’s first-ever air service incentive program to encourage new nonstop flight destinations for the region, as well as a two-year extension of the airport use agreement with the airlines operating at Tucson International Airport (TIA).

Despite increases in employee benefit costs, the fiscal year 2012 budget holds operating expenses nearly flat with fiscal year 2011 levels.
The budget also includes a reduction in the landing fee rate at TIA to $1.32 per thousand pounds of landed weight from the current rate of $1.35.

“TAA continues to work diligently to keep airline operating costs low at Tucson International Airport in order to encourage the lowest airline ticket prices possible for our customers,” said TAA President and CEO Bonnie Allin, A.A.E. “The reduced landing fee rate is a result of TAA staff maintaining tight control of expenses, which continues to be a top priority during this continuing period of depressed revenue growth. This, as well as a continuing focus for TAA’s capital program on essential safety, security and maintenance projects, positions us well for future opportunities when the airline industry returns to its historical growth trends.”
Operating revenues are projected to increase $800,000 or 1.9 percent over fiscal year 2011, excluding signatory landing fee revenue, which is reflecting an increase of $116,000.

The fiscal year 2012 Capital Improvement Program, totaling $10.6 million, includes a variety of projects at both TIA and Ryan Airfield. As has been the case over the last several years, the focus of the capital plan this fiscal year is on maintaining existing facilities and enhancing security and safety. Of this total, $8.6 million is expected to be funded through federal and state grants.
Also at its September meeting, the board approved implementation of an air service incentive program. The plan, which would go into effect with the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, is designed to attract service to new domestic and international nonstop destinations from TIA. There are three categories of incentives, including domestic short haul, domestic long haul and international. Based on the type of service proposed, landing and other fees would be waived and TAA would provide marketing support for up to one year. Additions to existing routes would not be eligible.
The airport use agreement extension between TAA and its signatory airlines will run through Sept. 30, 2013.


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