FORT WAYNE – Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority board members on Monday approved a $26 million budget for 2014, a plan that shifts many resources to capital improvements.
Executive Director Scott Hinderman said the authority has been planning the increased capital outlays for several years, which will enable the improvements to be paid for with cash instead of borrowing.
Officials expect to collect about $6.2 million in property taxes next year; the rest of the authoritys revenue comes from federal transportation spending, the fees airlines pay and items such as parking fees. The authority collected about $6 million in property taxes this year.
Hinderman said currently the airlines pay a little more than $9 per passenger to operate at Fort Wayne International Airport, which comes through a combination of landing fees, apron fees and renting space in the terminal. Because the bonds for the terminal have been paid off, those fees will drop to a little less than $9 per passenger in 2014, he said.
The authority pays about $2 million a year toward debt incurred to build the air cargo center, a loan that will be paid off in 2020.
Capital spending planned includes $5 million each for fuel farm construction and a fixed base operator office, plus $2.6 million for redesign and reconstruction of the rental car parking lot, plus spending on snow removal equipment. There will also be spending on design expenses for runway reconstruction that will occur in 2015, $475,000 for a new taxiway at Smith Field and other improvements at the northside airport.
Were going to have a very busy 2014, Hinderman said.
Board members voted 4-0 to approve the budget; members Richard Sturges and Cornelius Hayes were absent. Officials are expected to present the budget to the Allen County Council for approval on Sept. 19.
The board also approved a lease for 20,800 square feet of the air cargo center with Federal Express. The seven-year lease will cost FedEx $65,936 the first year.