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Published on : Saturday, August 13, 2016
Fitch Ratings has upgraded the Allegheny County Airport Authority’s outstanding $225.3 million senior airport revenues bonds to ‘A’ from ‘A-‘. The firm also declared the authority’s rating outlook to be stable.
The upgrade reflects the airport’s declining debt burden, allowing for a very low leverage position, as well as giving an opportunity to further reduce airline costs from historically high levels.
The combination of stabilized traffic and debt coverage levels coupled with robust reserves and manageable near-term capital needs should allow the authority to maintain an improved financial and cost profile.
The rating also reflects the airport’s competitive position within the Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area (MSA), a primarily origin and destination (O&D) traffic base of approximately 4.3 million (enplaned) passengers, and well-diversified airline market share.
The rating further reflects the airport’s fully residual airline agreement which allows for strong cost and debt service recovery, and a conservative debt structure that rapidly amortizes debt by 2019. The airport’s current capital program remains manageable; however, new projects may be identified with an updated master plan.