OTTAWA AIRPORT AUTHORITY ENDS 2003 ON A POSITIVE NOTE

Release date: 
22 March 2004 :00am
March 22, 2004 (Ottawa) – Ottawa International Airport Authority today released its financial results for the year 2003.

For the year ended December 31, 2003, revenues exceeded expenses by $12.4 million as compared to $11.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2002. As in Q3, the Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) was a significant factor in the financial results.

“Because of the completion and opening of the Passenger Terminal Building, we anticipated higher costs” said Paul Benoit, President and CEO of the Airport Authority. “Thanks to careful management and attention to every detail on the part of the Authority team, we were able to stick to our plan, and we have the results to show for it.”

Passenger volumes were also slightly higher for the year with an increase of 1.4% year over year.

Revenues
In 2003, the Authority generated $63.3 million in total revenues, compared to $55.3 million in 2002. Airport improvement fees of $20.8 million in 2003 accounted for $7.1 million of the increase in total revenues. In addition to airport improvement fees, the Authority generates revenues primarily from concessions, vehicle parking, land and space rents, and landing fees and terminal fees that are charged to air carriers.

Expenses
Expenses before amortization increased from $40.8 million in 2002 to $45.2 million in 2003. In addition, amortization increased from $3.1 million in 2002 to $5.7 million in 2003 due to amortization of the new terminal building and support facilities starting on October 12 coincident with the opening of the new terminal. Expenses before amortization increased due to security costs not being fully covered by the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority (CATSA), significant increases in insurance costs and rates for electricity consumption, and adjustments and costs related to the Authority’s provisions for bad debts. Additional costs were also incurred to transition operations from the Air Terminal Building to the new Passenger Terminal Building, and to operate the common use systems that were formerly operated by air carriers in the old environment.

Expenses include $7.3 million in interest expenses related to the Authority’s bond offering of May 2002 that finances the Airport Expansion Program (AEP). As the project became operational, interest expenses were no longer capitalized as part of the AEP, but were reflected in the statement of operations.

Capital resources
During 2003, excluding capitalized interest, the Authority made cash payments of $116 million for capital expenditures related to the AEP and an additional $1.1 million for maintenance capital expenditures. The proceeds of the Authority’s $270 million bond offering in May 2002 provided resources and repaid bank indebtedness used to fund AEP expenditures until completion of the offering. During the year, Moody’s, Standard & Poors, and DBRS reaffirmed the Authority’s credit ratings of A1, A+, and A (high), respectively, with regard to this bond offering.

Passenger traffic
Passenger volumes in 2003 were 1.4% higher than passenger volumes in 2002. During 2003, only the months of April, May, and August reflected passenger volumes that did not exceed those of the comparable months in 2002.

The Ottawa International Airport Authority will hold its Annual General Meeting on May 5, 2004, at 4:00 p.m. at the Ottawa Congress Centre.

OMCIAA operates Ottawa International Airport without government subsidies under a 60-year lease transfer agreement with Transport Canada. The OMCIAA’s mandate is to manage, operate and develop airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region. Its new state-of-the-art passenger terminal building opened for business on October 12, 2003.

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Contact:
Krista Kealey
Ottawa Airport Authority
(613) 248-2050
kealeyk@ottawa-airport.ca