Airport noses ahead of budget projections

Despite landing fees and parking revenues coming in lower than anticipated, Bob Hope Airport managed to end last fiscal year almost $150,000 ahead of budget projections, buoyed by rentals and film-shoot fees, according to a financial report released this week.

The airfield ended fiscal 2013 with $149,031 more than anticipated in its $46.87-million operating-revenue budget, according to the report released to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday, which is better than it did in fiscal 2012 when it squeaked ahead of projections by only $4,677. The operating budget in fiscal 2012 was roughly $46.1 million.

“Overall, fiscal year 2013 continued to provide challenges as passengers declined approximately 5.6%,” said Kathy David, deputy executive director of finance and administration at the airport.

Airport officials had anticipated landing fees, which are based on the weight of a plane, would come in at roughly $3.4 million, but they actually were about $3.1 million, which was 7.6% under projections.

“This really reflects the second half of the year when Jet Blue reduced two of their three flights,” David said. “Also several of our air carriers, as they looked to increase their profits, down-gauged their aircraft, meaning they have the same flights, but with smaller aircraft, which impacts landed weight, which impacts the landing fee.”

Parking revenues were budgeted at a little less than $19 million, but about $18.1 million was actually generated.

“During the mid-fiscal year, we did increase rates to several of our parking lots in an effort to stabilize this category of revenue, but year-end results still yielded 4.3% under budget,” David said..

Rentals generated almost $14 million, which was $643,119 more than projected.

David said the higher-than-expected revenues were “due to our proactive stance on trying to obtain some additional short-term leases.”

The airport, which reopened for film shoots in 2012, received $237,000 for location shooting for a variety of film projects. Filming had been banned following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Also on the plus side, concessions generated almost $8.3 million, which was 2.8% more than projected.

In looking at expenditures, overtime for the airport police department was $106,714 over budget. However, regular wages were $80,000 under budget and $41,000 of the overtime was reimbursed through film location shoots, David said.

“In essence, this (category) does remain on budget when you look at the fluctuations of under budget and income that came from the film location [work],” she said.

Expenditures that were significantly under budget were contractual parking costs, which were $634,441 under projections because the vendor, Standard Parking, implemented “staffing efficiencies,” according to the report.

Also, professional management services came in $791,017 below budget, primarily through unfilled positions.

TBI Airport Management Inc., based in Sanford, Fla., handles the airport’s day-to-day operations through a contract.

Susan Georgino, president of the airport authority, said she was pleased that the airport ended the fiscal year under budget.

“You’re really holding that budget very tightly,” Georgino said to David.

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Follow Tim Traeger on Twitter: @TraegerTim.

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