Business Pensacola

Bungled approval of airline agreements, missed win

November 9, 2017

Since 2008, the airlines at the Pensacola International Airport have operated without a long-term agreements. The month-to-month contracts have negatively impacted the airport’s bond ratings. For the past year, Beggs & Lane has been working on a template for the agreements that would run through 2022.

On Oct. 10, Fitch Ratings reported that long-term residual airline use and lease agreements had been worked out. The service gave the Pensacola airport a “positive outlook.”

“The new agreement effective FY2018 (October 1st) provides the airport with assurance that costs for airline facility and services are recovered from rents and fees through ratemaking in costs centers,” wrote Fitch analysts in their report. “Management expects to maintain CPE below $8.50 going forward under the new agreement”

This is a huge win for Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward…or it could have been promoted as one if the mayor’s office had the council vote on the agreements prior to their Oct. 1 effective date and Fitch Ratings’ press release.

Instead, the Pensacola City Council has been asked to adopt the Airline Operating Agreement and Terminal Building Lease for signatory airlines tonight – 40 days after they went into effect.

The agreements should have been mentioned during the budget workshops, approved in September, and celebrated. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a peep out the mayor’s office about them. Maybe the mayor will mention in his next “Upwards.”

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  • bob kerrigan November 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    You wrote this piece. Please have the courage to indicate that you did.

    • Rick Outzen November 13, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Of course, I did. This is Rick’s Blog. If someone else writes a post, they are given credit. It has been the same for 12 1/2 years.

      I did notice your blog has unsigned posts. I assume you’re the author of all the musings.

  • George Hawthorne November 9, 2017 at 7:22 am

    It takes more than good looks and “Upwords” to actually run a municipal government. Clearly, the Mayor’s “skill sets’ don’t include hiring qualified administrators and/or competent management of fiscal affairs. His propensity for missing deadlines and getting sued has costs the taxpayers millions of dollars that could have been better deployed for city services and qualified employees.