Thursday, June 22, 2017
Hollywood Burbank Airport dips into reserve funds to balance upcoming budget
By Anthony Clark Carpio
The Burbank (CA) Leader
Hollywood Burbank Airport has seen its passenger numbers climb at a steady pace the past year, but officials know that airline fees alone won’t help pay for needed improvements at the facility during the upcoming fiscal year.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority voted 7-0 on Monday to approve its 2017-18 budget, which staff balanced by dipping into the airport’s reserve funds for capital projects. Commissioners Bill Wiggins and Zareh Sinanyan were absent during the meeting.
The authority will be using about $4.7 million from its reserve funds. About $2.1 million of that figure will be used for the replacement terminal project. The remaining money will be going toward capital improvement projects such as replacing the roof on hangar 34, upgrading airfield maintenance equipment and the airport’s re-branding efforts, according to a staff report.
Kathy David, the authority’s deputy executive director of finance and administration, said that by using capital project reserves, the authority can avoid raising airline rental or landing fees.
She said the move allows rates to remain stable and reinforces “our continuing commitment to foster positive growth.”
The airport’s projected operating revenues are about $50.9 million during the upcoming fiscal year, about $2.4 million more than the 2016-17 fiscal year. The proliferation of ride-sharing companies dropping off and picking up passengers at the airport is the reason behind the welcome boost, David said.
Bolstering the operating revenue is about $26.7 million in reserves, grants and bonds, which gives the authority about $77.6 million to use during the 2017-18 fiscal year.
Though the airport’s revenue has increased, so have its costs related to operations and maintenance. Operating expenses for the upcoming fiscal year are projected at about $54.1 million, of which about $43.7 million is for operations and maintenance.
Last fiscal year, the facility had an operations and maintenance cost of about $41.3 million.
Some of the reasons for the increase include the addition of two part-time jobs for the airport police department, hiring outside contractors for security services and entering into a contract with an outside agency to conduct preventive maintenance of the airfield runway lighting system, David said.