$1-billion airport expansion funding secured with ACFA
May 08, 2008 | General
EDMONTON — Edmonton Airports has finalized a new financing arrangement with Alberta Capital Finance Authority (ACFA) to finance a $1.1-billion capital program at Edmonton International Airport (EIA). Robust passenger increases over the past three years and continued greater Edmonton region growth are driving the need for significant expansion at EIA.
ACFA is a special act corporation established in 1956 under the authority of the Alberta Capital Finance Authority Act (Alberta). ACFA provides local authorities within the province with flexible funding for capital projects at the lowest possible cost.
“We are pleased to partner with ACFA as we embark on a critical expansion of Edmonton International Airport,” says Reg Milley, Edmonton Airports President and CEO. “Being an ACFA shareholder allows Edmonton Airports to borrow money at favourable rates to finance airport capital projects that are so vital to our region’s transportation system and competitiveness.”
“ACFA approved a $200-million credit facility for EIA expansion in late 2006, and has now expanded that facility by $800 million to accommodate the major expansion now planned for the region’s anchor airport,” says Ralph Peterson, Edmonton Airports Vice-President, Finance, and CFO. “Edmonton Airports continues to earn very positive ratings by credit rating organizations and our ratings are among the highest of all Canadian airports.”
The most recent ratings are: Moody’s at A1 with a stable outlook (January 2008); Standard & Poor’s at A+ with a stable outlook (November 2007); and Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) at A (high) with a stable outlook (January 2008).
Driven by sustained passenger increases, almost 50 per cent over the past three years, the five-year EIA expansion involves $70 million in work already completed or underway, including a 1,000-stall expansion to the parkade and significant aircraft parking space added last summer and fall.
Construction will begin in late 2008 on a new south concourse that will add 13 passenger gates to the existing 17 passenger gates, boosting the total to 30. Additional aircraft parking space, systems upgrades and other enhancements are planned. The expansion, when completed in late 2012, is designed to handle nine million passengers. The current terminal was originally designed to serve 5.5 million passengers. In 2007, EIA served 6.1 million passengers.
The $15 Airport Improvement Fee paid by enplaned passengers at Edmonton International Airport enables the expansion and improvement of airport facilities. Edmonton Airports has no plans to increase the Airport Improvement Fee.