Rates will be going up slightly for airlines operating out of Pittsburgh International Airport under a 2013 budget of $159.6 million approved today.
Under the spending plan adopted by the Allegheny County Airport Authority board, the cost per passenger paid by the airlines will increase 38 cents to $14.66.
James Gill, the authority's chief financial officer, said the increase is the direct result of a $50 million bond issue floated to make improvements to the 20-year-old airport terminal.
The $3.8 million in annual debt service payments kick in next year and are passed on to the airlines. Without the bond payment, the cost per passenger would have been $13.73, he said.
Mr. Gill said another factor in the increase is that the authority is predicting that enplanements will drop by 50,000 passengers next year. As enplanements drop, the cost per passenger increases.
The cost per passenger at Pittsburgh International is considered among the higher ones in the country.
Mr. Gill said the increase would have been higher, but the authority will apply $30.9 million in passenger facility charges, an earmark from state gambling funds and a portion of rental car revenues against the costs to the airlines next year. Without those sources of revenue, the cost per passenger would have been $22.20, he said.
"There aren't many rabbits left in the hat to pull out," he said.
Operating expenses under the new budget, which takes effect in January, are increasing 1.56 percent.
Mark Belko: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1262. First Published October 12, 2012 12:45 AM