“For the bond market, having a five-year commitment from the airlines makes the finance people feel better.
“In San Diego we have a very diverse carrier base; we have a five-year common-use agreement. It keeps the airport stable, and in our market we can get away with that.”
The Green Build will be paid for with airport revenues, passenger facility charges, grants from the federal government and elsewhere, and bonds, according to Enarson. “We are out on the market right now to borrow,” he says. “Airports are having a tough time with that right now because the economy is not real good. We were fortunate and had our ratings redone, and we pretty much stayed where we were — stable. We will see what interest rate we are able to get; we are targeting 6 percent, but I think we will probably do better than that.”’
In terms of future challenges, Enarson says the airport’s biggest problem is going to be, as time goes on and as the airport gets busier, having no room to grow. The airport is located on 660 acres and is landlocked by the bay on one side, the Pacific Highway on another, the U.S. Marines to the north, and city development on the West.
“We have pretty much all the land available to us under our control,” comments Enarson. “So the challenge is really going to be long-term in how we’re going to be able to deal with growth.
“This airport was originally a 100-year solution in 1928; there will need to be a new 100-year solution soon.”