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Ratings upgraded for majority of Allegheny County Airport Authority's bonds due to gas drilling leases on airport property

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Monday, July 22, 2013, 5:24 p.m.

Fitch Ratings upgraded its rating Monday for the majority of the Allegheny County Airport Authority's bonds from “BBB-plus” to an “A-minus” in response to the income from gas drilling leases on airport property.

The rating puts the authority's $354.6 million worth of bonds at the lower end of the agency's third-highest rating, with a “stable outlook” meaning the rating was unlikely to move up or down in the next one or two years.

When upgrading the rating, the agency cited Pittsburgh International Airport's stable passenger base, the lack of competition within 100 miles, and additional income from a $46.3 million deal with Consol Energy to drill for gas on airport land.

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