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Development & Transportation

Pitt Airport Lowers Fees to be "Competitive"

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.