Pease Airport a Drag on Profits

March 7, 2006
The Pease Development Authority continues to operate at a profit, despite losing nearly $1 million at the airport.

NEWINGTON -- The Pease Development Authority continues to operate at a profit, despite losing nearly $1 million at the airport.

A report issued yesterday to the PDA's Finance Committee for the first seven months of the fiscal year shows the agencies net operating income at $1.75 million, with revenues of $6.339 million and expenses topping $4.521 million.

Finance Director John Clinch said the PDA remains on target with all sources of revenue, except for those related to aviation and airport operations.

There the picture is not so bright. For the seven months ending Jan. 31, airport revenues totaled $1.043 million, while expenses came to $1.423 million. The net loss for the year is $975,267.

The losses are due largely to a lack of scheduled flights and revenues that flow from the flights. Pan Am has significantly reduced its Pease-based flights, while Allegiant Air, which flies from the former Air Force Base to Florida, is a relatively new addition.

The Pease Golf Course continues to be a significant profit center. For the first seven months of the year, the 27-hole course generated revenues of $1.085 million, with expenses of $601,780, for an operating profit of $429,520.

The golf course has seen profits increase for the last three years. On Jan. 31, 2004, revenues hit $824,850, versus $735,014 in expenses, for a net income of $89,836. For the same period in 2005, revenues topped $967,500, versus expenses of $672,508, for a net income of $295,055.

Recent increases were attributed to a new marketing initiative, with the number of rounds being played up by 6 percent.

The PDA's Division of Ports and Harbors also generated a profit of slightly more than $109,000, with revenues totaling $946,029, versus expenses of $814,057.

Historically the port has been a money loser for the state. However, its recent success is attributed to contracts for scrap metal and road salt.

The committee also discussed the need to more quickly implement a series of accounting changes recommended by an auditor. The most significant change involves the need to complete implementation of a new accounting system.

Clinch told the committee he would have recommendations for next month's board of directors meeting, concerning the hiring of a consultant to help with the change.

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