Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Airport budget cleared for takeoff
By Alex Dobuzinskis
The Los Angeles (CA) Daily News
BURBANK — The authority overseeing Bob Hope Airport unanimously approved a $74.3 million budget Monday that increases spending by $16.9 million and sets aside money to resurface the runways. The budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 also allows for borrowing $8 million, mainly to fund restructuring of a private parking lot acquired by the airport for its valet parking operation.
The budget represents a 30 percent increase over the current plan, fueled in part by anticipated growth in passenger traffic, including $2 million more in parking fees and $1.1 million more in passenger facility fees.
The $7 million project to resurface — required every decade or so to fix wear and tear — will begin in August and be done in November.
“We will work at night; it will not involve the closing of the runways,” said authority President Charles Lombardo.
The Bob Hope Airport was allowed to buy the Star Park lot, adjacent to its own short-term parking structure, to use for valet parking. It will issue $8 million in bonds to fund restructuring the lot for that use, and will add two elevators on its short-term parking facility.
In addition to the bond money, the airport will use $2.1 million in reserve funds.
“We do have significant capital projects to undertake this year. And we’re using our credit rating to be able to handle that in such a way that the debt service can be handled without increasing airline costs,” airport spokesman Victor Gill said.
“We are mindful of the fact that (the airline industry is) in extreme disarray right now,” Gill said. “And so we’re trying our best to undertake those improvements that we can afford without having to raise the airline costs of doing business.”