Thursday, June 20, 2024

Airport Authority approves $14.7 million budget

by BIZ Magazine

Shreveport Airport Authority Board approved its 2022 operation budget during their Aug. 26 meeting.

The Shreveport Airport Authority’s 2022 operating budget totaled $14,782,700 — consisting of $4.288M from airline revenue, $7.5M in non-aeronautical revenue, and aeronautical revenue of $2.99M. This is a $1.69M increase in revenue over the 2021 budget, and just over $100,000 from the 2019 budget.

The revenue is expected to increase due to current activity from landing fees, corrected airline baggage amounts from 2021, and an increase in passenger facility charges. 

Non-aeronautical revenue, which makes up 51% of the budget, is also forecasted to increase based on the run rate with an uptick in auto rental agencies, office rent, and a big upswing in parking lot revenue. 

“We have a chaotic climate right now, but we chose three benchmarks — our benchmark for our highest number is 2019 and our lowest is 2020, and we also have the run rates for (the first half of) 2021. We collectively chose a figure based on those three benchmarks,” explained Teresa Pierce, fiscal coordinator for the Shreveport Airport Authority.

The Shreveport Regional Airport revenue for 2022 is forecasted to generate $13,924,100 and the Downtown Airport is expected to see revenues of $858,600.

The 2022 budget expenses aligned with the budget. The expenses were broken down into categories of $5.7M for personal services, $327,900 in materials and supplies, $3.7M in contractual services, $420,100 in improvements and equipment, $1.5M in transfers, and $3.09M in other charges. 

Personal services, the largest budget cost at 39%,  increased by 17% over 2021. Contractual services increased by 38% compared to the 2021 budget, and improvement and equipment increased by 163% from the 2021 budget. Materials and supplies expenses were flat, while the other charges category saw a very minor decrease when compared with 2021. The transfers expenses category was down 22% compared to 2020.

“Due to COVID-19, we did greatly restrict and pair down the 2021 budget. That did include the removal of 13 positions, and we are adding those back in several departments,” Pierce said. “As in the revenues, you saw the 13% increase. There’s also the 13% increase in expenses.”

The budget will now move to be reviewed by the Shreveport City Council and is slated to be up for a vote of final approval in early December.

During the meeting, the board also voted to accept the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant of $4.4 million for the Regional Airport and $59,000 for the Downtown Airport.

ARPA grants provide COVID-19 pandemic economic relief by reimbursing operational expenses, debt service payments, and costs related to combating the spread of pathogens at the airport. Airports can also use the money to provide rent relief to in-terminal retail and concession companies.

The board adopted a resolution to accept a grant from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s aviation division for $172,010, which will 100% fund the rehabilitation of the Downtown Airport’s perimeter fence. The board then awarded a contract to M&M Pipeline Acquisition for the replacement of the fence.

Air carrier numbers in July totaled 62,380 enplanements, which was 163% over July 2020. 

This was largely due to Allegiant seeing a more than 160% increase this year, which is an 18% increase when compared to pre-pandemic numbers, and American Airlines only being 4% off their pre-pandemic numbers thanks to a 119% increase in July.

The entire year to date is up 27% over 2020, but still down 33% from the pre-pandemic numbers in 2019. 

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