Budget for Eastern Iowa Airport reflects capital projects, more passengers

Budget projects 8 percent increase in gross revenue

George Ford
Published: January 27 2014 | 1:24 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:44 am in

The Eastern Iowa Airport will take in more revenue and spend more in fiscal 2015, which begins July 1, as a higher number of  passengers use the facility and significant capital improvement projects begin.

The Cedar Rapids Airport Commission on Monday approved a budget that includes gross revenue of $39.3 million, which is about $3 million, or 8.22 percent, greater than current fiscal year revenue. The total includes operating revenue from increases in projected enplanements, or passengers getting onto a plane, and increases in capital improvement funding.

The latter includes additional cash reserves and significant federal funding for airport improvement projects on the airfield and in the terminal building.

Gross expenditures will be $40.8 million in fiscal year 2015 -- $7.1 million, or 21.15 percent, greater than fiscal year 2014. The increase is due to operating transfers from cash reserves to finance capital improvements not eligible for federal or state funding.

Total operating revenue for fiscal year 2015 will be $15.8 million, which is $585,071, or a 3.84 percent increase, from the fiscal year 2014 budget. The operating revenue increase is based on projected increases in concession revenue, which accompanies increases in passengers.

The budget projects moderate growth in passengers from current fiscal year levels that will result in an increase in operating revenue from rental cars, customer facility charges, public parking, restaurant and passenger facility charges. Revenue from landing fees and building rental also are projected to increase operating revenue in fiscal year 2015.

Donald Swanson, director of finance and administration, told the commission that the $15.9 million capital improvement budget for the next fiscal year includes 13 projects. Federal capital funding is budgeted at $5.9 million, which will fund 90 percent of the Taxiway E construction, and $3 million of the upcoming passenger terminal building modernization project.

Swanson said the airport's annual capital improvement program for the next five years totals $72.1 million, of which $26.2 million is projected to be funded by federal grants, $2 million in state grants, and $44 million funded by the commission from excess operating revenue and cash reserves.

Swanson said the airport is still on track to pay its final debt payment on June 1, 2015. The milestone will be achieved without any city or county property tax revenue.

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