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Columbus Regional Airport Authority Financial Consulting Services

Assisting an Airport Authority in becoming an independent entity in the US

Columbus Regional Airport Authority Financial Consulting Services

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has been providing airport financial consulting services to the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) for over 30 years.  Our services have included rates and charges analysis, financial feasibility studies, organizational reviews, benchmarking analysis, and support negotiation of airline use and lease agreement through development of rates and charges analysis. 

CHALLENGES

CRAA owns and operates Port Columbus International Airport, Bolton Field, and Rickenbacker International Airport. Each of these airports plays a different role in the Columbus, Ohio region’s air transportation system. As CRAA transitioned from a city-owned airport to an independent authority, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff assisted them in responding to the financial and organizational challenges they faced.

APPROACH

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff's first assignment was to prepare a debt capacity analysis, which determined the amount of capital development project costs the airport could reasonably undertake. Once the size of the capital development program was determined, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff assisted CRAA with several financial studies, including the preparation of feasibility analyses in support of general obligation bonds issued by the city.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff also assisted CRAA in the following:

  • In 1994, the preparation of the Report of the Airport Consultant for the issuance of $37.2 million in airport revenue bonds and, in 1998, for the issuance of $87.3 million in airport revenue bonds.
  • developing and negotiating amendments to the airport/airline use agreement in 2000 and 2004. As a result of the rate-setting structure developed from the agreement, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff conducted a cost-accounting review to ensure that the assignment of airport costs to cost centers were in line with the cost accounting philosophies of the airport/airline use agreement.
  • developed a rates and charges model according to the airport/airline use agreements. In support of the 2004 negotiations, we developed a rates and charges model that enables the airport staff to produce rates and charges annually for budgeting and settlement purposes, reflecting the actual airline agreement developed from the negotiations.
  • the development of rates and charges scenarios to assist the airport in the negotiation of a new airline use and lease agreement in 2014.
  • preparing a feasibility study for its capital improvement program in 2005, including the replacement runway, consolidated rental car facility, and unit terminal. This study focused on the affordability of these major projects contained in the capital program in terms of airline rates and charges, debt service coverage, and CRAA cash flow.


WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff continues to work with CRAA’s staff and financial advisor to update the analysis periodically in light of new activity projections, new operating budgets, and revised capital costs.  In addition, we recently re-developed and streamlined the financial model used to develop annual rates and charges, and financial projections included in the financial feasibility study.

OUTCOME

  • Report of the Airport Consultant developed to support bond issuances of $37.2 million in airport revenue bonds, and in 1998 for the issuance of $87.3 million in airport revenue bonds
  • Continued assignments working with the authority’s staff and financial advisor to update the analysis periodically in light of new activity projections, new operating budgets, and revised capital costs.
  • Annual feasibility report used to support presentations to rating agencies resulting in bond rating upgrades.


SERVICES PROVIDED

  • Debt capacity analyses
  • Financial feasibility analysis
  • Support for negotiating a new airport/airline use agreement
  • Development of a rates and charges model
  • Financial analyses