Airport unveils $45.6M budget

Officials 'optimistic' about coming year

— Doug Meyers is “cautiously optimistic” that Albany International Airport’s 2012 will be better than its 2011, and the Albany County Airport Authority felt similarly when it approved a $45.6 million 2012 budget on Friday, Dec. 16. The budget is a 1.6 percent increase over the 2011 adopted budget.

“We kept the reins tight. Should enplanements increase and more people start traveling I think we might loosen up a bit,” said Meyers, spokesperson for the airport.

The airport’s anticipated total income for 2012 is expected to be about $45.7 million, a combination of user-based charges like airline landing fees, terminal rent and maintenance, fuel sales, parking fees, passenger facility charges and concession agreements. Expected operating expenses for 2012 hover at about $33.5 million.

“The Airport Authority remains cautiously optimistic about the future of the region’s demand for air travel and this spending plan affords us the opportunity for growth while maintaining a tight control over operating costs,” said David E. Langdon, chairman of the Albany County Airport Authority.

Total enplanements for 2012 was pegged at 1,243,473 but with passenger numbers from the last seven months showing an increase over the previous year, Meyers said enplanement numbers could fluctuate.

“We’ve seen a crazy trend, if you would,” said Meyers.

The airport budgeted for five additional jobs (they will be left vacant depending on need and strength of the economy) and laid out a $4.1 million Capital Plan for necessary and cost-saving projects, allocating $0.5 million for runway obstruction removal, $1.2 million for aircraft ramp improvements, $1.1 million for upgrading electric supply center and $1.3 million for sand storage building.

There are several factors the airport keeps in mind when drafting a budget, including total number of passengers passing through the airport, maintaining services and weather, said Meyers.

“We want to maintain a level of service … housekeeping of the airport, available parking places for our airport, the need for supplies for the airport,” said Meyers.

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