The authority says the $97.9 million operating budget anticipates a “significant decrease” in airline rates assuming passenger levels will increase next year, and the cost per enplaned passenger will drop from $13.92 to $12.90, which takes effect in January, the lowest for carriers since 2008.
For the airlines under the airport’s airline operating agreement, landing fees, ramp fees and terminal lease rates will also decrease it explains.
The budget funds the operations of Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin, but both are 100% self-sustaining and receive no local tax dollars for funding.
David Minnotte, chairman, Allegheny County Airport Authority, explains: “Effective financial management at Pittsburgh International helps to keep and grow more flights.
“We are reducing operating costs for airlines which will make the facility even more competitive and marketable.
“We are fortunate to look ahead to 2015 with only a 2% increase to our operating budget. This is made possible because the airport authority has better controlled costs and improved revenues.”
Airlines at Pittsburgh International provide passenger estimates to the authority as part of the budget planning process and projections for enplaned passengers are increasing slightly from 4.1 to 4.15 million passengers.
The increase in travellers is due to the airlines increasing the number of flights at Pittsburgh, starting new routes and increasing the size of the aircraft on some routes.
The authority says fee reductions were made possible in part by a portion of the lease bonus payment the authority received from CONSOL Energy in exchange for the rights to drill for natural gas on airport land.
It adds it expects to see increases in non-aviation funding including concessions and parking in 2015, while much of the operating budget is based on aviation safety and security, regulatory issues as well as customer service efforts.