Airport’s Cost Saving Gets A+ on the Self-sustaining Assurance Compliance

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ARTICLE: Airport should save $500,000 being independent from city


Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust is the sponsor of two airports that serve this Oklahoma Airport. The trust is obviously the financial vehicle that issued bonds and paid for the funds which constructed and operated the airports.

The management and Board had a relationship with the Tulsa City government, as do many or most airports. In some situations the airport is directly owned by the municipality; in others, the City provides services; in between, there are varying degrees of contractual/ownership terms.

The Trust reviewed its reliance on the municipal services and came to the conclusion that the airport could save a half of million dollars by restructuring its services. While it increased the pay of some of its employees and bore the burden of the ACA costs, it substantially reduced its operating costs for the benefit of its bondholders, its tenants, the airlines and its passengers.

This story is a good reminder that all airport sponsors should be conscious of their finances and economics as the Assurances require

(13) the airport owner or operator will maintain a schedule of charges for use of facilities and services at the airport—

(A) that will make the airport as self-sustaining as possible under the circumstances existing at the airport, including volume of traffic and economy of collection; …

The Trust’s action fully met this obligation. Other airports would be well served to examine other cost-saving measures, including organic changes. Such introspection may be a challenge, but if such a review improves the operation, the benefits will be substantial.

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