Within the last week, America’s three bond rating agencies all affirmed Miami International Airport’s strong financial health by assigning “A” ratings and stable outlooks to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department’s Series 2014 aviation revenue refunding bonds. Moody’s Investors Service assigned an “A2 rating,” while Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services each assigned ‘A’ ratings. The favorable ratings allow the Aviation Department to refinance at a lower interest rate approximately $158 million in debt associated with MIA’s capital improvement program.
“MIA continues to be the leading driver of our local economy and is on a steady financial course,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
The favorable ratings were based on a number of factors, including above-average passenger growth, further anticipated growth in international markets, and completion of major capital improvement projects. Another important factor noted by the rating agencies is MIA’s increasing non-aviation revenues, which are driven largely by airport concessions and help to offset airline landing fees.
Moody’s noted in their assessment that MIA has demonstrated “better than average enplanement performance compared to U.S. airports and large hubs,” while Fitch cited MIA’s well-balanced passenger base and robust international cargo traffic. Standard & Poor’s also highlighted MIA’s standing as “a large connecting hub airport with a niche market dominance that has produced steady financial results,” in their rating summary. For the complete summaries, see attachments.
“We’re certainly pleased the rating agencies have confirmed that business at MIA is moving in the right direction,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “However, we remain focused on developing new non-aeronautical revenue sources that will further offset landing fees and costs to our airlines, making MIA even more appealing to existing and prospective carriers.”
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