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Airlines' fees to rise as Airport Authority adopts 2013 budget

| Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority on Friday adopted a $159.6 million operating budget for next year that increases airlines' cost of doing business at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The spending plan boosts airlines' per-passenger costs 2.7 percent to $14.66, up from $14.28 this year. Costs include landing fees and renting space in the air-side terminal and on the airport ramp.

The increase might have been larger, but board Chairman David Minnotte said the authority has “better controlled costs and improved revenues.”

Overall, next year's budget and debt payments will be 3.3 percent, or $5.1 million, higher than this year's.

A bulk of the increase — or $3.8 million — will be used to make payments on a $50 million bond issued this year for facility improvements.

That will increase the authority's debt payment to $65.7 million. Most of it is related to the $1 billion construction of the airside and landside terminals two decades ago.

The authority also adopted a $35.5 million budget for facility improvements next year, including repairs to people-mover trains that travel between Pittsburgh International's two terminals, replacing guard shacks around the airport's perimeter and terminal improvements.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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